Nevada Lawmakers Pushing For Bigger Penalties For Casino Gun Ban

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Las Vegas is really kind of the heart of Nevada. The things people think of when they think of the state all, for the most part, revolve around what made Las Vegas what it is today. Namely, casinos and gambling.

Yet Nevada used to also be a very pro-gun state. People visiting Las Vegas from other countries would hop on over to a range and shoot guns the likes of which they could never even look at legally in their home nations.

It’s unfortunate that you can’t really carry a gun into a casino, though. Despite both being things that Vegas and Nevada are known for, lawmakers don’t want them to mix.

However, now they’re wanting to up the penalty for carrying one onto a gaming floor.

Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand criminal penalties for individuals who bring firearms onto a gaming properties.

Senate Bill 452, which is backed by gaming giant MGM Resorts International, is designed to reduce rising violent crimes that have become prevalent in the Las Vegas resort corridor during the pandemic, said Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas.

Metro investigated at least eight shootings on the Strip in a one-month stretch last fall.

Provisions would only apply to large resorts that choose to opt in, and would require they post clear signs on their premises and websites about the policy.

Sen. Melanie Scheible, a Las Vegas Democrat, said it made sense to enforce firearms bans in large casinos similar to how they are enforced in schools and public libraries given their importance to Nevada and its economy.

“We should be paying special attention to the resorts, the casinos, the hotels, and all of the places that people come from all over the world to see, and ensure that they can be safe while they are there. We should be able to allow facilities to have this increased and improved amount of safety on their properties,” she said.

Now, if I have an exception to gun rights, it’s that I actually do think property owners have a right to prohibit guns on their property. The flip side is that I have the right to not frequent places that don’t respect my gun rights.

However, I prefer for them to have to tell me to leave if they know I have a gun and if I refuse, then I can be arrested.

Making it a felony to carry a gun on the property of a certain industry is incredibly problematic. While gun bans are enforced in schools and public libraries, those are at least public entities rather than private businesses that simply donate tons of money to certain lawmakers. I’d be interested to see how much Scheible gets from the gaming industry, after all.

“But why do you need a gun in a casino?” some slack-jawed window-licker may ask, and the answer is simple. I probably don’t need a gun in a casino. Casinos aren’t the problem.

However, if I have good fortune while gambling, and I have to leave the casino with my winnings, well…that could be an issue. I’d then have a large sum of money that I obtained in a very large public setting. The potential for robbery is high and I’d sure as hell want a gun.

But lawmakers don’t want me to have that ability. They want to make me subject to the whims of criminals who may seek to take what I have won.

Frankly, this sounds like a better reason to go to Biloxi than Vegas, anway.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET