After lawmakers in California sent a letter to their counterparts in Nevada asking for a summit aimed at tackling gun violence, legislative leaders in the Silver state remain split on whether to accept the invitation.
The letter dated August 21st, requests lawmakers from both states meet to discuss various gun-related issues -- including a possible effort to ban assault-style weapons in both states.
The request came in response to the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival where the shooter used a firearm purchased in Nevada.
Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez Thompson, the chamber’s majority leader, says Democrats are open to discussions.
“When we think about what’s best for Nevada and how we position Nevada," Benitez Thompson says, "having the conversation is important to Nevada. Having the conversation will benefit Nevada, but we’re always going to come at this from a place of how do we protect Nevadans first?”
During the legislative session earlier this year, Democrats passed measures that included expanded background checks on private sales and transfers, and “Red Flag Laws” which allow police or family members to ask a court to temporarily remove guns from a person who may present a danger to themselves or others.
For Republicans, though, the legislation passed this year was abhorrent, and further restrictions on guns are a non-starter. Assembly Minority Leader RobinTitus says the two states need to do more to address mental health issues.
"We want to solve some of the mental health issues in our state," says Titus. "If they’re looking at that as part of a solution? I’d certainly be happy to have a conversation regarding that.”
Even if lawmakers in Nevada decide to meet with their California counterparts, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to take any action until the next legislative session which begins in February 2021.