Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Updated: What’s up With Metro and Handgun Registration? (Revised)

Update: Several reliable sources and several different gun stores are confirming that they have heard from LVMPD that they are honoring the changes to preemption. The gist is that LVMPD Firearms Detail has contacted the gun shops in question and advised them officially that registration and waiting periods are over with. Additionally, they have ordered remaining forms destroyed. We are attempting to get official confirmation, but confidence of this word is high.

Since enhanced preemption was enacted Tuesday, June 2, by Gov. Sandoval, rumors have been flying around about what gun store is still doing things the old way and which ones aren’t. Some gun dealers in the affected areas (right now city of Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County) are adhering to the 72-hour waiting period and issuing blue cards. Others rightly objected and aren’t. Henderson, which is fully and immediately complying with the law, has no issues reported.

Calls to substations say one thing, then the PIO/other substation says something else. People are starving for correct information.

Those giving and getting the answers aren’t always as politically savvy as other may be. Desk staff may be misinformed, confused, or suffering from a bureaucratic panic at Metro PD that always falls back on the tried and true tactic of the government, standard-operating-procedures.

It’s very likely that the furor and requests for answers took the department by surprise, before they could have time to adequately prepare training information and make the changes. Of course, the sheriff did support eliminating handgun registration and it was pretty clear this would pass the legislature and be signed by the governor. Perhaps they should have planned ahead.

Nothing has been verified officially, so they remain rumor and third-hand information, but a vague picture is coming together that the right hand might not know what the left is doing. We hope it’s just confusion at Metro, but proof remains to be seen. For now, I urge caution.

Several legislators are interested in the developments and are working their angle with Metro and their respective resources. We have a request for comment in with them. They are pursuing their own investigations presently.

What’s apparent is that we need a formal announcement from the Sheriff or Metro is needed ASAP. The public needs to be reassured that it’s police are aware of the changes to the law and are complying with it immediately, not trying to find a way around it. I retract my earlier statement that Metro isn’t up to something shady and now I want them to prove that they aren’t.

Metro PIO on Fox 5’s “Behind the Badge”

PIO Sheehan of LVMPD spoke on Fox 5’s “Behind the Badge Segment.”From his statement, he’s not a great spokesman about explaining the intricacies of the amended laws, but he did speak the truth. Taking his word as the most official voice from Metro this far, we can surmise that Metro does intent to obey the law and has ceased handgun registration.

Sheehan stated that: “There’s no more gun registration in Clark County. […] You don’t have to register with your local police department. It’s registered at the state level now. The state becomes the repository for all handgun registrations in our state […].”

The latter portion of that statement was incorrect. It appears that Sheehan misspoke and wasn’t fully aware of the text of the bills, confusing the state repository for criminal information (for background checks) with a gun registry. The state of Nevada only retains information on who legally cannot possess a firearm; it does not maintain a gun registry or will be accepting Metro’s records (the records must be destroyed).

While the legislature did reserve the right to regulate registration (among other things) itself, it did not create a gun registry. The legislature proposed nothing of the sort this session, such an idea has no support within the legislators (at least publicly), and would be immediately rejected out of hand by Nevadans. Again, while the legislature regulates registration of guns now, it chose to get rid of the only gun registry in the state rather than expand it.

Sheehan did clear up the rumors about whether or not campus carry an constitutional carry (concealed carry without a permit being required) passed. They did not. It was very good of him to make that clear to the public because people just don’t seem to listen, read, or understand. The readers of this blog aren’t those sorts of people, but nonetheless, many others needed to hear that message less they unintentionally break the law.

One deficiency was that Sheehan did not mention that local laws were repealed immediately, like the county parks ban on guns and North Las Vegas’ local laws. Generally, the police are not going to advertise that a law is no longer in effect. It’s like asking a fireman on for a segment to explain the best way to torch your old Christmas tree in the backyard.

All in all, Sheehan did a pretty fair job of explaining it and the other aspects of the bills, particularly the expansion of the castle doctrine to the car and civil immunity for justifiable homicide. However, shame on Fox 5 and the local media for always turning to their same, tired sources who do a poor job explaining gun laws. A statement from Metro is good, but the true benefit to the gun community needs to be heard. No longer will Nevadans have to worry about confusing local regulations, those who live in other county’s being quizzed about ‘blue cards’, or having to wait for 72-hours to buy a handgun here.

No one got to hear about that. Rumors weren’t quashed, just a brief segment that many probably didn’t see. There are plenty of us who can give the correct information, as we specialize in it, and would love to go into the detail that the public is so dearly starved for. So tell Fox 5 and local media to get better gun commentators, not Bob Irwin of The Gun Store or their attorney friend Bob Massi (who got it wrong before).

Please Don’t Flame Me

As a former law enforcement officer myself, I have to stand up a bit for Metro. They’re probably all in a tizzy over this because so many people are asking questions. Social media is exploding and over 50,000 of you have visited this blog to learn about the recent changes. I would bet that the PIOs are overwhelmed right now, along with desk staff and various supervisors. They are probably swamped with a flood of mundane questions to insisting queries from the public (privately, and in my capacity as a journalist, am one of the latter).

It takes time to share this kind of complex information through the government. Supervisors have to review it, staff to write it, lawyers to sign off, and somebody important to approve it before it filters out through email and briefings. This is the government we’re talking about here—we all joke about how bureaucratic and slow it can be. Metro (and other officials) must be accurate in their statements and politic in their delivery. Thousands of people must be correctly informed.

For now, we must give the police and government officials time to process this and respond. They should have been astute and prepared for this moment to come, but power, particularly in Clark County, is reluctant to release its grasp. For nearly 26 years, Clark County clung to its exemption, fighting any release. Only when public pressure became insurmountable, did Sheriff Lombardo, as a candidate, supported eliminating handgun registration.

Will this sheriff live up to his campaign promise and faithfully uphold the law he was sworn to execute, even if it targets his office and one of his programs? That remains to be seen. With multiple reports of gun stores in unincorporated Las Vegas and the city of Las Vegas being told by Metro to continue complying with waiting period and handgun registration starting to add up to the truth, it appears Metro is defying the law. Too many pieces are falling into place that paint a picture that is rather ugly; Metro intends to break the law and threaten revocation of gun dealers’ business licenses.

Yet we do not have confirmation on this, so I urge caution at this point. We need, no we require, a formal answer. Metro PIO Larry Hadfield responded to my request for a comment for the public and for my readers. I am awaiting an official response from the commander of the firearms detail to clarify what exactly is going on and what Metro’s official position is. Until such time as Metro makes an official statement or refuses (and clear and convincing evidence shows they are not complying), we must keep our reactions tempered.

At this stage, what does going off half-cocked do for us? Operating on misinformation and an incomplete picture is detrimental to our cause. We would waste goodwill and public pressure pushing in the wrong areas.

There are intransigent police departments out there; we’ve see that across the county. In particular, we’ve seen that in the behavior of the park police who have been hell-bent (up to now) to justify their no-guns-in-parks rule.

Perhaps my directly calling them out here has alienated them and they are reticent to speak with someone who has, in their eyes, insulted their honor? I don’t know. What I do know is that an us vs. them does exist with the police. In most places, it is an insidious thing where the police feel they are guardians of an incompetent public, but rather a defense to public criticism that can sometimes be over-stated.

In the various circles I am involved with, I am privy to communications that others have had with, in this case, the libraries and the county park police. There is outright antagonism and the defiance of the right to bear arms in those places. Some of you have seen the various old threads on forums or know someone who has taken up the challenge. They hear, but they do not listen. They see, but they do not perceive. If they will not listen to irrefutable reason, then we must put hooks in their jaws and drag them to comply.

There are some that disagree with the tactics of relentlessly pursuing answers from our public servants and elected officials, that pressing for a response and demanding compliance is in bad form. The only bad form is bad form itself, i.e. threats, bad language, errors in logic, or haranguing those who have no responsibility. Demanding a law enforcement agency or public service comply with the new law as written is not in any way wrong, immoral, unethical, or using poor tact.

Government serves for the benefit of the public. We know the mantras. The government in this country is answerable to the public and must be held to account for every breach of the law they establish and uphold. Those who protect us cannot deny us the right to protect ourselves under the guise of them knowing better. As Americans, it is our duty to petition our government for redress of grievances, else we deserve to suffer under the fate of mundane and petty oppression.

As long as our response is measured, our tone respectful, our words logical, and our actions coordinated, we can effect great change. Yet in such a new environment as enhanced preemption presents us with, we must allow time for news of the change to spread. The apostle Paul, who had scales fell from his eyes, was blind for several days until he reached Damascus. Let us make polite, yet persistent inquiries and respectfully demand that our officials take the law to heart, until we are confident that this new gospel of freedom is heard by all who serve us.

In coming days, we shall know what course to steer; whether rejoicing in our victory and thanking our government for complying so readily, or if holding our public servants and government to account in true American fashion is demanded of us. 

-G. C. (revised from an earlier version this evening)


  1. I'll question the "nefarious!" I have it firsthand from an owner that the gun shops, as of TODAY, are being told by Metro to do registration and waiting periods or they will lose their license. The gun shop asked for it in writing, but they are stalling. He was told directly that Metro has until October to "protest the law" and they they are planning on doing so.

    Hmm, isn't this the same Metro whose new sheriff campaigned on a promise to eliminate the registration? Who would have thought that a top cop politician would LIE to us?

  2. Picked up my AP Saurer .44 mag today at Accuracy Gun Shop. They'd been on the phone the last two days with Metro. Metro informed them that the blue cards woud be required till Oct.. that the county may 'appeal' the case.. whatever nonsense that means as their was NO damned court case. At any rate.. I have my weapon. And my shiny new Blue Card dated 6/4/15--also had to completely fill out the registration form to be sumitted to Metro. Hopefully the bluie card will become a valuable collectible one day. Till then it is violation of state law. Alvin--

    1. Please send as much detail on these interactions with dealers or correspondence with Metro to me at nevadacarry@gmail.com
      I would also like to hear from the gun dealers what exactly they're being told and from whom.

    2. Too bad you no doubt wanted to take possession right away. Our biggest advocates would be dealers who actually LOST SALES from customers who refuse to be the pawns of the games the police are playing.