Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the Senate vote.
The bill banning bump stocks and allowing the temporary confiscation of firearms from an individual who poses a risk of harm to themselves and others cleared the Nevada Senate on a party line vote Friday.
Republicans opposed AB291 because of the so-called “red flag” provisions that a third party can ask a judge to order removal of firearms from that person’s home based on a verified application showing the person poses a risk. They argued that violates due process under the U.S. Constitution because it deprives someone of their property and violates their Second Amendment rights without first holding a hearing.
“It violates due process depriving somebody of a property interest without having been convicted of an act,” said Sen. Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas.
Sen. Keith Pickard, R-Las Vegas, said he would support legislation to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill but AB291 doesn’t require a mental health evaluation altough, “nothing more than a claim by a third party many of whom may have an ulterior motive.”
But Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, pointed out the person gets a hearing within seven days where they can show they’re not a danger and reclaim their weapons. She said state law already provides for confiscation of firearms in cases of domestic violence. She also argued the measure doesn’t mandate confiscation of the weapons.
She said at that hearing, it requires clear and convincing evidence the individual shouldn’t have firearms in which case they can be kept from the defendant for up to six months.
AB291 returns to the Assembly for review of the confiscation language that was added in the Senate Judiciary committee hearing.