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Nevada: AB 282 Moves from Assembly to Senate Judiciary Committee

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Assembly Bill 282, sponsored by Assembly Speaker John Oceguera (D-16), passed in the Assembly last week by a 40 to 2 vote.  As introduced, AB 282 is a four point pro-gun omnibus measure that would: 1) ensure that Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit holders’ names and addresses remain confidential; 2) revise Nevada state law to allow the carrying of any semi-automatic pistol, like you can with a revolver, once you have qualified for a CCW permit with a semi-automatic pistol; 3) allow carrying of firearms in Nevada state parks; and 4) statutorily mandate a background investigation (which is currently being done by all Nevada sheriffs) for CCW permit renewals for the purpose of reinstating the NICS exemption for Nevada, thus ensuring that permit holders do not have to go through a point-of-contact check for every firearm purchased, as long as the permit is valid.

Last week during its second reading in the Assembly, an unfriendly amendment was added to AB 282 that would raise the fee for CCW permit renewals from $25 to $75.  The reason behind the fee increase or the parties who requested it was not known until the NRA contacted the Nevada Department of Public Safety's Records and Technology Division.  The Bureau Chief, Ms. Julie Butler, informed us that, according to the information provided to them by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), that Nevada would not be able to receive an exemption to the National Instant Check System (NICS) until a full fingerprint check was conducted on all renewed permits, which was the purpose of the fee increase attached to AB 282.  At this time, the NRA is in discussions with the BATFE and Governor Sandoval's office to determine if this information is correct. 

The NRA's opposition to this fee increase remains, as well as any mandate on fingerprint checks for permit renewals.  Fingerprints do not change and as of this writing, NICS background investigations suffice for thirteen of the sixteen states that currently enjoy the NICS exemption for carry permit holders, including Kansas, which just this year repealed their fingerprint check for renewals AND was recently awarded the exemption. 

We will ask that the fee increase language be removed from AB 282 and we will once again support this legislation.  The Nevada state sheriffs, who are the permit issuing agencies, have conducted fingerprint checks on renewals since Nevada lost the NICS exemption in 2005 believing as DPS, that it was a mandate from BATFE.   According to one representative with the Nevada State Sheriffs Association, even if the BATFE determines a detailed check is not criteria for the exemption, they will continue to insist that a fingerprint check be conducted, and called any state that doesn't do a fingerprint card on renewals "reckless and incompetent."  If this sentiment is shared by all Nevada law enforcement agencies, that would make them worse than California, whose own issuing agencies do not require fingerprint checks on renewals - and California is not a “shall-issue” state. 

We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of AB 282 as it makes it way to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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