By: Matt Collins
Carson City, NV - A major gun control bill has passed the lower House of the Democrat-controlled Nevada legislature last week and is now moving forward in the State Senate.
Assembly Bill # 286 was rammed through the State Assembly along party lines (26 - 16) on Friday just before a legislative deadline would have prevented it from being sent to the upper chamber of the legislature.
After receiving the bill from the Assembly, on Thursday, April 22nd, the Senate assigned the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it is waiting to be scheduled for a hearing.
The legislation would prohibit both the construction and possession of home-built firearms including rifles and handguns. The restriction would not only prohibit constructing these firearms, but it would also make it a crime to possess most previously home-built firearms without a serial number. Certain gun parts, including unfinished frames and receivers, would be outlawed.
Only law enforcement agencies, licensed firearms importers, manufacturers, permanently inoperable firearms, antique firearms, and bona fide collectors items would be exempt.
The bill, as written, is more restrictive than current federal law and would in effect be true gun confiscation.
Originally, the legislation contained provisions that would have severely limited locations where permit-holders could carry, but an approved amendment stripped out those provisions from the proposed bill.
In the Assembly hearing for the bill, the notorious Brady Coalition, along with multiple members of Bloomberg’s Mom’s Demand Action gun control group, spoke in favor of the legislation. The bill’s sponsor is Democrat Assistant Majority Whip Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, representing District #41, part of Las Vegas in Clark County.
During the hearing and floor debate, it was discussed how there was a great deal of influence and push from interests in neighboring California to pass this bill. The gun control community’s pejorative phrase “ghost gun” was frequently used to describe common home built firearms.
National and local groups, including The National Association for Gun Rights, the Nevada Firearms Coalition, and the National Rifle Association have all been working to oppose AB-286.
The bill has a high chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate with the composition being 12 Democrats and 9 Republicans. If the Senate amends the bill, it will be sent back to the Assembly for consideration of the amendment. If the bill passes the Senate unamended then it will get sent to Democrat Governor Steve Sisolak.
Governor Sisolak, who has been in office since 2019 when he defeated Republican candidate Adam Laxalt 49-45, would have between 5-10 days to sign the bill depending on when he receives the bill. The governor could choose to sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without a signature, or veto it. If he were to veto the bill it would be sent back to the Assembly for a potential override which would require a 2/3 majority vote of each legislative chamber. If the Governor vetoes the bill after the legislature has adjourned then the bill is returned to the next regular legislative session.
There is no word as to what the Governor is planning to do if the bill reaches his desk.
If AB-286 becomes law the bulk of the bill’s restrictions would go into effect on New Year’s Day January 2022.
Republican Assemblywoman Dr. Robin Titus, representing District #38 Churchill and Lyon counties, voted against the bill, saying:
“AB-286 [is] an egregious gun control bill… We all know that Americans have been making guns out of kits since the American Revolution..."
Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler representing District #39 Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties, who also voted against the bill, said in an Assembly floor speech:
"…[T]he true purpose of this bill is to remove a certain class of guns from the possession of law-abiding citizens, while criminals who flaunt the law anyway, will still be in possession of these weapons. This [bill] is just another assault on the Constitution of the United States and the State of Nevada, which both guarantee our right to keep and bear arms….[and] is nothing but the “camel’s nose” again, except that this time it’s up to the neck. This bill is another bite of the apple and that apple is your 2nd amendment rights being taken away bite-by-bite."
Matt Collins has been a firearms activist since 2013.