Nevada lawmaker abandons push to let counties pass tough gun laws

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A gun bill sponsor says she is gutting the main provision that would allow counties to pass stricter firearm laws than those imposed by the state.

Democratic Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui said Friday afternoon in a statement that she has decided to remove the portion of the bill at the request of Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control measures, and other organizations.

“I am looking at other fixes to improve gun safety in our communities such as extreme risk legislation,” she said.

Jauregui did not return a message seeking further information on the statement. She did not appear to be in her legislative office Friday afternoon.

The provision is expected to be replaced with language creating a so-called “red flag” law allowing police or family members to seek an order to seize guns from people who appear violent or may post a danger.

The bill faced heavy opposition from Republicans and gun rights groups, along with concerns over how future gun regulations could hurt a sprawling firearm-related trade show in Las Vegas.

Bill opponents and gun rights groups argued allowing county control over gun laws would lead to a complex patchwork of local laws.

The Assembly last month passed the measure in a largely party-line vote.

Zoe Sheppard, deputy press secretary at Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement the organization supported the provision allowing counties to pass stricter firearm laws, but said “it became clear there was no real path forward for this policy this year.” 

“There is a real chance to pass a strong Red Flag law in Nevada that can save lives right away,” Sheppard said.

The provision also drew serious concerns from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which hosts the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The organization estimates that tens of thousands of attendees contributed more than $88 million to the Las Vegas economy last year.

Mark Oliva, spokesman for organization, said they might have to consider moving the trade show to another state if counties had been given the ability to pass more stringent firearm laws.

The remaining parts of the bill would ban bump stocks at the state level and lower the legal blood alcohol level for carrying a firearm outside a person’s residence.

A nationwide ban on bump stocks went into effect earlier this year.

Jauregui, a Democrat, escaped the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in which a gunman used bump stocks to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. She had recalled her experience at the shooting in urging lawmakers to support the measure.

Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price contributed to this report from Las Vegas.


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