I’ve received a lot of questions/comments about constitutional carry, campus carry, greater reciprocity, etc. coming to Nevada. Specifically, what the chances are of this happening this year or in the near future. Short answer is it’s highly unlikely. We need to have a basic chat about how things work, recent legislative history, and reality.
First, the state legislature meets for six months every two years, starting in January or February (Feb. 6 this year) to either the end of May or June. The governor may call for special sessions, such as happened in 2016 to approve a stadium plan.
Bills are proposed by individuals senators or assembly(wo)men. They get five Bill Draft Requests (BDRs). These bills are reviewed by committees and voted on to see if they should continue on in the process. A ‘no’ vote in committee kills the bill. A ‘yes’ vote sends it to the floor and to the other house for review and votes. If both houses agree to the bill, it passes, but it has to be signed by the governor.
The governor has five days to veto any bill, but the legislature can override a veto by a 2/3rd majority vote (Democrats lack this “supermajority” in the Senate). If the bill is vetoed, but the legislature is out of session, the governor has 10 days to veto it, where the next session of the legislature (remember special sessions, not just regular) can attempt to override the veto. (Article 4, Sec. 35, Nevada Constitution)
In the 2015 regular session, known as “The Year of the Gun,” everything we could have hoped for was proposed; constitutional carry, campus carry (both full and parking lot only), nationwide CCW recognition, etc. In the end, all we got was enhanced preemption, which is a big deal in and of itself. Unfortunately, the Republican tendency to self-moderate killed all the bills. Conspiracy theories abound, but a very rare Republican-dominated state government was squandered when it came to guns (and a few other issues).
So if enhanced preemption was the best we could do with 11 out of 21 senators and 25 out of 42 assembly seats, what are our chances this session? In the Assembly, there are 27 Democrats (a supermajority) and 12 Democrats in the Senate. It’s a reversal of the last session. Thankfully, we have a Republican governor who we can at least trust to veto any gun control bills that come through (he vetoed universal background checks in 2013 and came out against Question 1).
Will we get constitutional carry, campus carry, etc. this year? No. We are going to have to fight a Question 1 clone bill, plus attacks on “assault” weapons, standard capacity magazines, and a whole bunch of crap that we’ll find out about in a few days. It’s a fight not so much for survival, but to teach Democrats a costly lesson that Nevada does not support gun control. We have to smack them down until they understand the Second Amendment is the real third-rail of politics.
Unless the Democrats are some breed of Democrat we haven’t seen in many, many years, they will not support any pro-gun bills. I’d be utterly shocked if they went along with a single pro-gun bill. The votes on SB 175/240, enhanced preemption, basically went party-line. So no amount of campaigning for a pro-gun bill is likely to get it passed. Of course, we gun owners and patriots believe in the honest way of doing things, so we’ll still fight, just like certain legislators have proposed pro-gun bills that will never see the light of day. Nevertheless, in the end, most Democrats just don’t care about your right to avoid becoming a homicide or rape statistic.
To win constitutional carry, Nevadans need to focus on electing Libertarians or Republicans. If you are pro-gun, yet vote Democrat, you are part of the problem. Getting pissed at RINOs and revenge voting for Democrats doesn’t solve anything; putting them in power just gives them more room to steal away our rights. You must focus your energy at campaigning for conservative candidates who support our rights. With the influx of illegal immigrant voters, Democrat-leaning minorities, and California ex-patriots who vote “D” by default, this is our only real chance to save Nevada.
We also have to win the battle of ideas; the constitutional carry wave is looking a lot like the “shall issue” wave of concealed carry permits back in the 1990s. Enough states and a favorable Supreme Court ruling could tip the scales in our favor, if we can keep the state from becoming a solid Democratic one. So keep talking to your friends, get them into guns, and get them carrying.
What can we win? We can win at the federal level by supporting the Hearing Protection Act, which would allow silencers (or suppressors, either term is equally valid) to be sold over the counter, just like firearms, without going through the arduous NFA process. As far as national reciprocity and repeal of other parts of the NFA (machine guns, SBRs), it’s more likely that the real push will happen after the 2018 mid-term elections when there is more political cover.
Lastly, with enough public support, we can get the loaded carry ban in Red Rock Canyon repealed.