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Nevada Bill sparks gun violence conversation

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 9:52 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Ahead of Mother’s Day, a state group is advocating for a Nevada bill so that no parent has to bear the pain of losing a child by a firearm. But some people believe this legislation would do more harm than good for law-abiding Nevadans.

“We just want to keep our kids safe and our loved ones safe.”

Ariana Saunders, Volunteer with Moms Demand Action, Nevada Chapter

Ariana Saunders is a mother of two boys and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a movement fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.

“There are plenty of ways that you can still own a gun and use it recreationally, use it for protection, but also make sure it doesn’t get in the hands of the wrong people,” Saunders said.

She and the organization supports Nevada Assembly Bill 286, which in part would ban home-built firearms, also known as ghost guns or kit guns, for personal use.

Saunders added, “These ghost guns, because they’re untraceable and because they’re not regulated, really do make all that danger heightened and it puts our community more at risk.”

“90% of the guns used in crimes are either stolen or purchased on the black market.”

Randi Thompson, Lobbyist with Nevada Firearms Coalition

Randi Thompson, a lobbyist with Nevada Firearms Coalition sees it differently.

“The bill, as it is now, violates someone’s second, fourth, and fifth amendment rights so right off the top, it doesn’t work,” Thompson said, “It’s saying that if you own a kit gun, you are now becoming a felon by just possessing an item.”

Thompson says 48% of Silver State households legally own firearms, and putting that in jeopardy doesn’t solve the problem.

Thompson added, “With rights come responsibilities. You have the right to bear arms but you also have the responsibility to keep it out of the hands of anybody that’ll steal it or out of children.”

It’s a controversial issue that’s ever-present in our nation right now. The first step in reducing gun violence is talking about it.

Also under the bill, businesses can opt-in and prohibit guns, and if that request is not honored the gun owner can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Right now, AB 286 is sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee after being passed through the Assembly.

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