LVN Editorial: Judiciary chairman blindsides CCW proponents
April 16, 2013
Justice was not served last week when the Assembly Judiciary Committee chairman rejected a motion for a vote on a bill that would allow people to carry guns on Nevada college campuses with a concealed weapons permit.
After weeks of hearing testimony, committee members did not have the opportunity to vote yea or nay on the bill, which would then go to the Assembly.
Committee Chairman Jason Frierson, another liberal-leaning Las Vegas Democrat, not only has deprived the committee and eventually the Legislature a vote on this controversial topic, but also made a mockery of the process by slamming the door on Amanda Collins, the victim of a 2007 rape on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
A similar bill introduced in the 2011 Assembly also died in committee.
AB413 proposed to give people with a concealed weapons permit (CCW) to carry weapons on any of the community college or university campuses in Nevada; however, exiting law also allows campus presidents the ability to grant permission for CCW holders to carry a concealed weapon.
Collins has been a strong proponent to have students armed with concealed weapons permits since her traumatic ordeal six years ago. James Biela, the man who sexually assaulted Collins, eventually raped and killed another young woman near the UNR campus.
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For AB143, we are not promoting passage or defeat; rather, on such a controversial bill such as this, the committee members have the right to cast a vote, and if the measure either lives for another day or dies on the committee floor, at least lawmakers had their say, and constituents know where their elected officials stand.
Our feeling follows the U.S. Senate vote last week in which enough Republicans crossed over to prevent a filibuster on extended background checks. We need to see where our elected officials stand on the national platform.
Republican Las Vegas Assemblyman Michelle Fiore and Collins vow to return to the Legislature in 2015 to have their bill re-introduced. In the meantime, though, shame on Frierson, who claims the bill did not have the required seven votes to emerge out of committee; on the contrary, seven committee members told The Associated Press they had the required number of votes to move forward.
In the meantime, a moment of ill-advised and lapsed judgment from Frierson has halted any debate on AB143, and shame on you for assuming rather verifying the votes were there.
Let Frierson know how you feel at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jasonfrierson. Hopefully, Nevada's residents will tell the Las Vegas Democrat that the bill deserved at least a fair hearing and action by him to move it out of committee.
Editorials written by the LVN Editorial Board appear Wednesdays in the LVN.
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