By: José Niño
On May 17, 2023, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed three gun control bills.
Lombardo’s move is in line with his campaign promise to veto all legislative items that undermine the right to bear arms of Nevada residents. In addition, he vowed to protect Nevada residents’ right to build firearms.
Democrats are still in control of the state government — 28-14 in the State Assembly and 13-8 in the State Senate — and they proceeded to vote for gun control in an effort to get Lombardo to capitulate.
“I will not support legislation that infringes on the constitutional rights of Nevadans,” Lombardo said during a press release he issued after vetoing the three gun control bills. “As I stated in my letters, much of the legislation I vetoed today is in direct conflict with legal precedent and established constitutional protections. Therefore, I cannot support them.”
The first bill (SB 171) that Lombardo vetoed would have prohibited any individual convicted of a hate crime in the past 10 years from buying a firearm. The crime wouldn’t matter. State Senator Dallas Harris sponsored this legislation.
The second bill that Lombardo scuttled would have made it a crime to bring a firearm within 100 feet of a polling location. Sandra Jauregui was the main sponsor of the bill in question, AB 354.
On top of that, Lombardo vetoed AB 355, which would have increased the age to buy certain types of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to 21 and also close an alleged legal loophole in a 2021 law that attempted to prohibit the sale and transfer of unfinished frames and receivers.
Despite their failures in passing gun control during the current legislative session, Nevada Democrats have promised to continue pushing for civilian disarmament measures. John Crump of AmmoLand noted that no Republicans in the state legislature voted in favor of these gun control bills.
Over the last few years, Nevada has embraced gun control in the form of red flag gun confiscation orders, universal background checks, and bump stock bans. Traditionally a relatively pro-gun state, Nevada has seen its rankings in the Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners rankings drop to 29th place.
The election of Lombardo has at least temporarily thrown a wrench in Gun Control Inc’s plan to turn Nevada into an anti-gun bastion. However, gun owners must continue placing pressure on the Nevada state legislature and eventually take it over with pro-gun representatives. It’s the only way to roll back recently passed gun control and expand pro-gun freedoms.