May 2, 2019

Dawn Cranfield Journalist
On Tuesday, April 23, 2019 the Democratic controlled Assembly voted to change the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) to further restrict the use, manufacture, possession, transfer or sale of any device or combination of parts designed to materially increase the rate of fire from semiautomatic firearms. Lawmakers voted to change the NRS prohibiting “bump stocks” after the firearm accessory became integral in the investigation of the October, 2017, shooting at a Las Vegas country music concert where 58 people were killed. Assembly Bill 291 passed by all but one Democratic vote, Skip Daly, who voted Nay along with the 12 voting Republicans (John Hambrick was excused).

The majority of the language in the Bill focuses on banning of firearms accessories and the definitions of several types of weapons. Machine gun is defined as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger”. Semiautomatic firearm has been added as well and determined to be any firearm using “a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fire cartridge case and chamber the next shell or round”, “requires a separate function of the trigger to fire each cartridge” and “is not a machine gun”.

Blood alcohol level while in possession of a firearm has been lowered from 0.10 down to 0.08 which is generally described as four drinks in an hour for a man and three drinks per hour for a woman (drink equals 1.5 fluid ounces of liquor or a glass of wine), depending on the weight of the individual.

Sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, a survivor of the Las Vegas Mass shooting at the Route 91 concert, she and other Democrat lawmakers believe the additional language proposed for the ban would ultimately save future victims from the same carnage she witnessed.

Jauregui was determined to stay silent regarding the issue of gun control after her experience, but when another mass shooting happened four months later in Parkland, Florida, she opted to fight for further gun control stating, “I was infuriated and angry that these children had to face something so awful that me, a grown adult, could barely deal with.”

Trained firearms personnel are skeptical the Bill would do anything to prevent further mass shootings claiming a finger is all that is necessary to create the same result of a bump stock by keeping the trigger finger steadily in position, then pulling the rifle forward with your non-trigger hand and allowing the recoil of the firearm to force the finger against the firing mechanism discharging another round.  As long as the trigger finger is kept steady, the weapon will continue to eject bullets until emptied. This method of shooting is not a particularly popular practice due to the inaccuracy of each shot and the resulting waste of ammunition.

National Rifle Association lobbyist, Dan Reid, opposed the bill and asserted the law would be “entirely problematic” and goes “well beyond federal regulations”.

According to the FBI, 2017, the year of the Las Vegas Mass Shooting, 403 people nationwide were victims of homicide by a rifle.

Assemblyman John Ellison, Republican from Elko, opining, “ I am a firm believer in the people’s right to keep and bear arms, not only for self-protection, hunting, and recreational use, but because it is their given right, as set forth by the Constitution of the United States. I am a proud member of the NRA and have been for over 20 years. I strongly encourage people to exercise and protect their rights, or little by little, they will be lost.”

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Yea Votes (Democrat)

Alexander Assefa

Shea Backus

Teresa  Benitez-Thompson

Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod

Maggie Carlton

Richard Carrillo

Lesley Cohen

Bea Duran

Edgar Flores

Jason Frierson

Ozzie Fumo

Michelle Gorelow

Sandra Jauregui

Susie Martinez

William McCurdy

Brittney Miller

Daniele Monroe-Moreno

Connie Munk

Dina Neal

Rochelle Nguyen

Sarah Peters

Greg Smith

Ellen Spiegel

Heidi Swank

Tyrone Thompson

Selena  Torres

Howard Watts

Steve   Yeager


Nay Votes (Republican except where noted)

Skip Daly (D)

Chris Edwards

John Ellison

Gregory Hafen

Alexis Hansen

Melissa Hardy

Al Kramer

Lisa Krasner

Glen Leavitt

Tom Roberts

Robin L. Titus

Jill Tolles

Jim Wheeler

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