Nevada Looking to Let Clark County Dictate Gun Policy

May 3, 2019


Matthew Hoy

With Democrats in control of the Nevada governor's office and the state legislature, a push is being made to allow counties, specifically Clark County, to create stronger gun-control laws than the remainder of the state.

Many states, most notably Pennsylvania, have what are known as preemption laws that bar any government entity other than the state legislature from passing more restrictive gun control laws. The reason for this is simple: It is unrealistic to expect gun owners—especially concealed carry cardholders—to know a patchwork of county and city laws in addition to state laws. It effectively creates a kind of felony trap for gun owners.

Nevada is choosing to go the other direction, and Clark County, home of Las Vegas, is looking forward to making the tourist trap as anti-gun as neighboring California.

"As a large metropolitan area, we simply face different law enforcement challenges than other places in the state," said Commissioner Justin Jones at a bill hearing, mentioning the millions of tourists who visit Las Vegas each year. He also said declaring the Las Vegas Strip a gun-free zone on major holidays would be a common-sense gun measure.

Jones said in an interview that he expects there to be interest on firearm restrictions for the Las Vegas Strip, if the Nevada bill passes.

Commissioner Tick Segerblom says he would go further.

Segerblom said he's not only in support of those restrictions, but wants a discussion over adding an assault weapons ban, handgun registrations and ammunition limitations.

Of course, when given the opportunity they are likely to pile on more laws and regulations that would do nothing to stop the kind of event—the Las Vegas Music Festival Shooting—that, in theory, prompted the laws.

Without a doubt these new laws will do little to reduce crime in Nevada's most populous county, but will make it more difficult for gun owners to defend themselves.

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