Lawmakers are considering a bill that is essentially a gun control measure aimed at preventing a mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas in 2017 that left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured. AB291's sponsor, Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, was at that concert. She sat down with KUNR's Paul Boger to talk about the measure and the role the shooting played in its creation.
“Assembly Bill 291 is my 1 October bill, and I brought it forward this year in order to help prevent any future mass shooting from ever happening again Nevada,” Jauregui said. “Having attended the Route 91 festival, and being there on October 1, I wanted to make sure that we were putting preventative measures in place so that no Nevadan or family member has to go through what me and my family did.”
AB291 is one of several gun bills up for consideration this session. In February, lawmakers approved a reworked version of an expanded gun background check measure that voters approved in 2016 but had been shelved by the state’s previous administration. There’s legislation that would make it illegal to carry a gun into a government building. Another makes it a misdemeanor to negligently leave a gun where a minor could get a hold of it.
For Democratic leaders, the measures are part of an agenda to crack down on gun violence around the state -- a major campaign platform during the 2018 midterm election. Pro-guns rights groups, however, have been critical of the party’s legislative priorities, and in rural areas of the state, counties have passed resolutions voicing opposition to the legislation, calling any attempt to further regulate firearms an infringement of the 2nd Amendment.
It's an argument Assemblywoman Jauregui refutes.
“This is just about making Nevada a safer place," she says. "We're not creating a registry. We're not coming in. This is not a gun grab. People can still have their guns. This is about safety. This is about making sure that the next largest mass shooting in America doesn't happen here again.”