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Nevada Backs Down Slightly On Gun Bill, But Not Nearly Enough

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Following the horrible tragedy in Las Vegas, it’s no surprise that many in Nevada want gun control. More accurately, though, it’s no surprise that some will use that atrocity to justify infringements on the Second Amendment.

Of course, that’s precisely what happened. Nevada is looking down the barrel of a gun control bill, but it was one that was slightly nerfed by lawmakers.

Nevada lawmakers on Tuesday amended the signature gun control package that Democrats hoped to pass this legislative session, removing provisions that would have increased penalties for people who bring firearms to certain locations where they’re banned.

Three-and-a-half years after Las Vegas experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, a Democrat who survived the massacre, said she remains committed to passing gun laws to make Nevada safer in every legislative session.

She wants to build on gun control legislation passed in 2019 to expand background checks for private firearm sales and transfers by banning homemade guns without serial numbers. In addition to banning these untraceable “ghost guns,” her initial proposal would have made it a criminal trespassing charge to bring firearms onto properties such as the Las Vegas Strip’s largest casinos and resorts.

The “ghost gun” provisions passed through the Assembly on a party-line vote just before a legislative deadline on Tuesday, but sections about criminal penalties were cut from the proposal. Jauregui said she is having discussions about reintroducing the idea.

“It’s no secret what my personal story is and why this is an important issue to me,” said Jauregui, whose husband had to crawl on top of her to shield her from raining bullets.

In Nevada, gun debates often reveal chasms between rural lawmakers and their urban counterparts from growing cities like Las Vegas and Reno. The 2017 mass shooting amplified calls for stronger regulations. The shooter amassed 49 weapons without drawing scrutiny because federal law does not require gun dealers to alert the government about rifle purchases.

Federal law doesn’t require gun dealers to alert the government about handgun or shotgun purchases either. So the hell what?

Jauregui went through a terrible ordeal. There’s no one who is going to deny that fact. However, that doesn’t change the reality that ordeals like that are statistically rare. They’re not that common, despite what some people try to claim. They’re awful, but they’re not everyday occurrences.

Additionally, bringing up the Las Vegas shooting is a red hearing, since the killer lawfully purchased his firearms as completed guns, thus having absolutely nothing to do with so-called ghost guns.

Instead, it’s invoked to bring up the raw emotions from the aftermath, when so many people were shocked and appalled at the death toll and the absolute horror of what transpired. It was bad and I recall story after story after story about what happened, what didn’t happen, and all of that. I was smothered in news about it, and I can only imagine what it was like for those who lived it.

But that doesn’t mean they get carte blanche to their own facts of what happened, nor do they get to use it as a pass for whatever anti-gun schemes they want to pass.

Yes, the bill was nerfed just a bit, but the whole damn thing needs to be scrapped. There’s nothing in there that will make anyone any safer. Instead, it’s a desperate cry for attention from a lawmaker who seems to have “survivor” as her only real claim to fame and is desperate to beat the gun control drum as often as she can because of that fact.

Good, decent people are the ones who will pay for these kinds of laws. It won’t be the future Las Vegas killers. They’ll find a way around it if they want to. Meanwhile, the good guys get hamstrung by onerous regulations that keep them restrained while doing nothing to those who are an actual problem to public safety.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET