Ban On Assemblyman Buying A Gun Fails To Calm Concerns

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CARSON CITY, NV - State officials say they've barred troubled Assemblyman Steven Brooks from buying a gun for a year, but that announcement isn't calming the concerns some have about him and what he might do.

To review, this all began last month with a report that Assemblyman Brooks, perhaps upset over committee assignments, had threatened Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick and when arrested was found to have a loaded gun in his car.

Following a series of other incidents, he's been banned from the legislative building and a select committee was named to investigate if he should be expelled from the Assembly.

Then last week came word Brooks had tried to buy a 30.06 hunting rifle from Scheels in Sparks, a purchase delayed apparently by an attentive clerk who notified law enforcement officials.

He filled out the required paperwork for a background check and the law gives the state a three day window to investigate any questions raised.

Monday the Department of Public Safety said they were denying his attempted purchase for undisclosed reasons.

So why isn't Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong relaxing?

"You can open up a newspaper and buy a gun as easily as you buy a hamburger in today's world.

We found that to be true. Literally. In fact, in the back of Tuesday's edition of the Nevada Appeal, there's almost a half page of classified ads, private parties selling guns of all types including a 30.06, but also assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

These sellers could ask for background checks, but they aren't required to.

Furlong's advice to them and anyone else approached by Brooks or anyone else who may not seem stable is the same as area gun dealers' responses to the recent news. Don't sell.

There's more. Brooks' attorney says his client was only browsing at Scheels, but last week said he was trying to buy the rifle for recreational purposes.

A check with the Department of Wildlife reveals Brooks does not have a Nevada hunting license. In fact, in order to get one he'd have to pass a hunter safety course and there's no record he's ever taken such a course.

It's details like that that continue to keep some on edge.

"We have a lot of innocent folks who are working in their office who are in some level of fear," says Furlong, "and we want to reassure them that we stand with them and want to insure their safety."