Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Local Gun News (TV) Reporting Sucks

Get used to an unfiltered stream of crap being shoved under your noses and being called journalism. Starting with Fox 5’s deceptive segment on the universal background check initiative that we castigated at length, local TV news is picking up their stories on the issue. Granted, it’s sure to be a hot topic in the 2016 election, but why is it cropping up so suspiciously? Fox 5 one week, NBC 3 the next week, along with the Las Vegas Sun vomiting up some different articles, one praising the Moms who support gun control, another trashing states with such ‘liberal’ gun control laws like ours.[1]

The supporters, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety (which does nothing to promote actual gun safety, such as teaching people how not to accidentally shoot themselves) are pumping out media releases and contacting local media to run stories favorable to their perspective. Using their allies in the leftist infected media world, they can present their agenda as objective ‘news.’

I have a beef with anti-gunners, obviously, but they would be nothing more than another voice in the debate if the reporters, again mostly local TV reporters, did their job. I am incensed with them for either being too stupid realize their being played by the anti-gunners or willingly supporting this assault on our private property and Second Amendment rights. It’s not hard to see why the more paranoid think the media is in leagues with the anti-gun lobby.

The anti-gunners can’t win on facts or admit that they want to create a gun registry and eventually ban guns. Reality and popular opinion is against them, so only through lies and manipulation can they win. It’s why they picked our state. Just like Washington and Oregon before us, Nevada is a ‘purple’ state where a large percentage of the population tends to vote Democratic. Their reasoning is that if they tell the same lies enough times, in a frightening enough matter, and use money and influence to peddle ads and news stories in their favor, they can scare or fool enough people to vote away their rights.

Don Turner, president of the Nevada Firearms Coalition, which opposes the background check initiative, found a piece of propaganda from Everytown that lays out all of the anti-gun assertions made by the so-called ‘journalists.’ Talking points and ‘suggestions’ to cover stories have been disseminated by Bloomberg affiliated groups before in Nevada and in other states. If one looks back through the various media statements and opinion pieces in Nevada media, the same phrases and tortured statistics all start to sound the same. They have a common source.

We can't allow 'truths' to be created and facts diluted by partisan groups who present their biased views as an impartial reality. We are in an age dominated by media that plays to what it perceives as the public good, based upon their own interpretation of what the public good is, as if we were children and they our parents. Too many people stupidly trust the media (like the government) to be in their best interest and will make their decisions on these reports.

Half-assed reporting is part of the problem. I’m not sure what the qualifications for a TV reporter are exactly any more. I haven’t seen very many reports worthy of being called journalism. Rather than do research and spend time thinking hard about a topic, it’s easier just to cut and paste talking points from a media release, which is obviously what the guilty parties did here (see above).

What happened to investigative reporting? Where are the deep in the weed searches for new stories? The LVCCLD library open carry issue has potential to explode into major protests and even a lawsuit—something sure to capture national attention—yet only the LVRJ has shown any interest, mainly because we ran into a reporter. No one other than this blog has been interested in covering the issue (and we admit our bias). Sadly, the only journalistic outlet of any size in Nevada that seems to have any true investigative interest left is the LVRJ.

On background checks, the LVRJ has come out against the issue several times in their opinion pages. John C. Smith isn't a big fan of gun rights, but he's a columnist. I'd say more of their articles have exposed the initiative as the farce it is.  While they commentators' opinions have varied, they have correctly pointed out the pros and cons of both sides. Our last bastion of mainstream true journalism isn't parroting Everytown's lies and actually takes the time to provide more than just a superficial dig into the issue all while pushing an agenda. It would be great if people still read the paper with the regularity they did in years past.

Besides the obvious liberal bias in media, fueled perhaps by reporters who attended liberal-dominated colleges and journalist programs, what dark evil fuels this near universal narrative? What could they possibly have to gain? Only tin foil hat wear creeps would imagine the various network executives, new directors, and local station franchisees gathering together to discuss world domination. Is there a diversity of opinion in journalism? Surely they all can't have the same ideas on everything.

You can’t trust the mainstream media to accurately inform you about much. News reports should be limited to a call that causes us to say “I’m going to look into that” rather than trust what that made-up face under klieg lights is saying. Get used to a stream of utter bullshit coming from the TV in 2016. Learn the truth now and spread it. Your family, friends, and co-workers trust you more than they trust an news anchor.

-G. C.

[1] Sorry for the Vegas bias, your editor lives down south.

Monday, November 23, 2015

LVCCLD 'Official' Unofficial Open Carry Ban Policy

A recent Nevada Open Records Act (NORA) record dump revealed precious little information about the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s legal (and mental) gymnastics to try and justify their denial of legal open carry. This is the document that several patrons have been shown to justify the ban and the same language contained in earlier letters.

It looks like they tried to cook this up without running this buy their counsel, Gerald Welt. They really should study the legal issues first.

NRS 379.040 empowers the board of trustees, not administration or staff, to make regulations. This is a legislative function reserved to appointed members of the board, presumably to avoid arbitrary and capricious regulations based on the whims of someone in charge. Only after giving the public notice, listening to public comments, and reasoned debate can a regulation be adopted. Simply expounding on a vague rule that essentially says the library district’s policy is the state law prohibiting concealed weapons in posted buildings is not what NRS 379.040 authorizes.

Library staff would be well within their rights to eject someone mishandling a firearm or otherwise causing a disturbance.

We are still waiting for a source to provide us with emails and internal communications regarding this issue. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guns Hot Topic at Fernley City Council Meeting

At a standing-room only meeting, the Nov. 18th Fernley City Council tackled both gun-free zones and proposed changes to the unsafe discharge of firearms ordinance. Proposals ranged to a public shooting range to help recreation shooters to a council recommendation to prohibit any emergency measures to confiscate firearms. Sheriff’s Commander Rob Hall spoke explaining the proposed changes to the unsafe discharge ordinances. The issues with the ordinance are best discussed in this Reno Gazette-Journal article.

A furor erupted online, fueled by rumors, that Nevada Carry helped quash by reaching out to Councilman Cal Eilrich. Citizens were concerned with the brief description of the Councilman’s agenda item, wishing that more information was included, apparently afraid of the city moving to ban guns. “The very first thing that agitated people was ‘gun-free’,” one speaker said. Eilrich brought up the item in light of the Islamic terror attacks in Paris. 

It is important to note that citizens can legally open carry in posted 'no guns' public buildings.

Eilrich’s Proposal 
I believe that any entity that is going to declare a Gun-Free Zone, should also take the responsibility of providing adequate security for those who they are forcing to disarm, which in affect [sic] causes them to surrender their own personal means of self-defense.
 Type One Facility: A governmental or private publicly accessible facility where members of the public have no alternative but to enter for critical services, such as but not limited to governmental services, health and welfare services, emergency medical, or participation in governmental meetings, like this meeting, of which all citizens are entitled to attend.
 Type Two Facility: A private facility wherein, customers do have a viable alternative to receive similar services.
 There are two types of public facilities:Proposal: A city of Fernley Ordinance that would require the following:
Type One Facility: For a Type One Facility to post “Gun Free Zone” or “Weapons Prohibited” signs, the management of that facility must have in place, a written and implemented security plan complete with trained-armed security officers, either uniformed or preferably undercover. There shall be a minimum of one such security officer for the first 1 to 100 occupants of the facility, plus a minimum of one such security officer for each 100 occupants after the first 100. Special events or meetings are not required to provide additional temporary security officers, if Occupant numbers exceed normal operations.
 Type Two Facilities: For a Type Two Facility to post “Gun Free Zones” or “Weapons Prohibited” signs, the management of that facility must have in place, a written and implemented security plan complete with trained-armed security officers, either uniformed or preferably under cover. There shall be a minimum of one such security officer for the first 1 to 100 occupants of the facility, plus a minimum of one such security officer for each 100 occupants after the first 100. Special events or meetings are not required to provide additional temporary security officers, if Occupant numbers exceed normal operations.
 If such security measures are not planned and provided for, then the private facility must also post a notice directly beneath, and the same size, a sign that states “No Armed Security On-Site. 
Such a proposal regarding private businesses would likely be technically afoul of NRS 268.418, which prohibits any local regulations except for unsafe discharge ordinances. Eilrich’s ideas may set the stage for internal city policy. It is interesting to note that no state statute authorizes local authorities to post ‘no guns’ signs, however, they can authorize internal policies. Section 8(c) states: 
“This section must not be construed to prevent: A public employer from regulating or prohibiting the carrying or possession of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition during or in the course of an employee’s official duties.” 
The city could hire armed security guards or authorize staff members to act in that capacity. Even so, citizens should be permitted to protect themselves, with firearms, virtually everywhere, security guards present or not. State law should be amended to allow for concealed carry and open carry in public buildings. No place is inherently safe from violence.

The only public buildings with levels of security high enough to appropriately counter violence and special security considerations regarding firearms are courthouses, mental institutions, and jails/prisons. Of course, citizens have every right to openly carry a firearm in a courthouse, but security there would likely have a conniption fit if someone tried (and they have). The solution is to lock it in the car.

Even then, the concern still exists about safety getting to and from the facility. Take the Regional Justice Center. Prospective jurors are instructed to park several blocks away at the Fremont Street public garage. Should citizens be forced to walk disarmed in downtown Las Vegas simply because they are performing a public duty like jury duty or attending other judicial matters? Of course not. In Utah, secure storage at courthouses for the use of armed citizens is mandatory.

Councilman Eilrich should be commended for his commitment to steps that would actually keep people safe instead of security theatrics that only creates unarmed victims. Other Nevada public entities should be so responsive. Ideally, the city of Fernley should simply remove its 'no guns' signs and allow open or concealed carry in public buildings, like the rest of the state. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fernley City Council To Take Up Gun-Free Zones

Many Fernley residents and Nevadan’s were concerned by the appearance of an item on the Fernley City Council agenda containing mention of ‘gun free zones.’ I contacted the sponsor, Councilman Cal Eilrich, for details. Below is his response (emphasis added): 
"I have been gravely concerned for years regarding declared Gun Free Zones.  They amount to an invitation for a "Killing Field" to either a nut-case or more recently for an Islamic Terrorist.  I believe that if any entity is going to declare a Gun-Free Zone, then they should either also declare, and have in place, a written security plan complete with trained and armed security, either uniformed or perhaps more efficient undercover security. Otherwise, they should be prevented by law to declare a Gun-Free Zone, therefore allowing the public to provide their own personal defense, by carrying concealed.
"The agenda item that I requested is an initial procedure so that the council can here my reasoning for having an actual agenda item, where the discussion and actual voting may take place.  All that we will be voting upon this time is whether the majority of the council wants to officially hear the agenda item and expend staff time to prepare for the actual agenda. 
"I was just made aware this morning that some Fernley Facebook Page patrons are jumping to wrong conclusions and are all up in arms.  I say fine, I hope they show up at the meeting so that they can actually hear my reasoning.  At this time, City Hall is a declared Gun Free Zone, according to the signage on the doors, even though I have complained about this, I have received no briefing, certainly not written, that we actually have a security plan in place. 
"By the way, I have also introduced a Reckless Discharge of Firearms Ordinance in Fernley, to replace one that actually make ALL Discharge of Firearms illegal in Fernley.  The goal is to allow sensible and safe shooting and is an attempt to make the public more educated on providing for a safe backstop. 
"I am a long time firearm instructor for competitive shooting sports, private security and law enforcement.  I am committed to the education of as many people as possible in the safe and proper use of firearms.  I also believe that an armed society is a polite society, as long as laws and common courtesy are promoted and followed.
 "[…] My family and I own and operate the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, based in Fernley, which is the administration and sanctioning body for the national sport of Cowboy Fast Draw.  CFDA has over 4,000 members and 80 CFDA Affiliated Clubs coast to coast.  It's a highly competitive shooting sport that promotes and honors the romance and legend of the American Old West.  We shoot wax bullets with a small powder charge, which makes our competitions possible just about any place.  Shooting USA from Outdoor Channel was just in Fallon, NV covering our World Championship last month.  Through our organization and our system of affiliated clubs we have introduced over 100,000 people to shooting sports at public venues like county fairs, rodeos, and other public events. Many that have had a positive first time experience shooting a firearm, plus many that are children."

As you can see, Councilman Eilrich understands the danger that gun free zones present. Many of our readers in Las Vegas are aware of the battle over open carry in public libraries. The editor cannot comment on the unsafe discharge ordinance as it is a strictly local issue. Regarding the ordinance and the particular nuances to the issue, please see this Reno Gazette-Journal article.

Nevada law (NRS 202.3673)  originally prohibited firearms in virtually all public buildings (1995), then was amended in 1997 to allow concealed firearm permittees to carry concealed in most public buildings (a very sensible provision). In 1999, a few exceptions were added, and in 2007, the current version was passed, prohibiting concealed carry in buildings with ‘no guns’ signs or metal detectors at each entrance.

Currently, open carry is permitted in most public buildings (even signed ones), while concealed carry is prohibited elsewhere. The city of Henderson is a good example of proper signage. Open carry in public buildings can be a thorny issue, as the on-going issues with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District show.

The city council meeting will be held at city hall at 5PM Wednesday, November 18.

Follow-up article here.

Fox 5 Gets it Wrong on Background Checks

A Fox 5 (Las Vegas) segment irritated many local gun owners, who felt that the piece was deceptive and improperly edited. It focused on the 2016 universal background check initiative which would ban all private gun sales by forcing those sales to go through a federally licensed dealer. The initiative is believed to be the first step in establishing a national gun registration database. Christine Maddela, weeknight evening co-anchor and Denver native, reported. 

Maddela’s report did balance both sides of the argument. Oddly enough, the message that I thought came across the loudest was “criminals will get guns anyway,” even though the perspective of the piece seemed to be pro-initiative. Despite manipulative edits, the cries against more gun control and the futility of the initiative were loud from a lot of the interviewees. Nonetheless, the broader points of the argument were left out and over-simplified to just two blunted viewpoints.

The piece generated an immediate online backlash against Maddela and Fox 5, causing the next evening’s ‘Rant’ to explode over the topic. Rocky Mountain Gun Shows and local gun dealer Fallout Firearms were also blasted because of statements in the report that were allegedly taken out of context. Online, gun owners took to Facebook and Yelp to post damning reviews against both. Both businesses have since explained their positions and blamed Fox 5 for taking their statements out of context. 

Kourosh Haroni, on Facebook, clarified that he was referring to dealer background checks (required by state and federal law) and not private sales. He and Rocky Mountain Gun Shows do not support the initiative or mandatory background checks on private gun sales.

Fallout Firearms and its employee, Alex Acree, quoted in the piece, immediately disavowed the report and declared their opposition to banning private gun sales. Owner Mike Crowder posted the following on his blog: 
“While setting up at the Rocky Mountain Gun show at Southpoint, Fox five was interviewing the promoter for Rocky Mountain Gun Show and she was hammering on him about the ‘Gun Show Loophole’. He remarked that all transactions done at his gun show between dealers was done legally. Then he brought them over to talk to us since we are his out of state transfer dealer for dealers that come in from out of state. 
“I was unable to respond because I was sick and my throat was so sore that it would have been a disaster, so I asked my salesman Alex Acree to respond to them. 
“She asked him if he saw any transfers between people without background checks at the gun show, and he said no because we are required by federal law to do background checks so we do them. She then told him that other dealers in the show do not support background checks, and that they don't work and does he support that, and he said no, background checks absolutely do work, they catch felons and domestic violence all the time. 
She then asked if he supported having background checks between individuals and he said no, he did not support background checks, and he has been involved in many private party sales himself. [emphasis added] She then asked him if he was worried about selling a gun to a felon and he replied that if there is concern about selling a gun to a felon, you can download a form on the internet to help with private party sales that makes the person check that they are not a felon or have any domestic violence charges in their background.
“Of course the footage was edited down to make it seem like Alex replied in context that he supports background checks between private parties, and that Karoush Haroni of Rocky Mountain Gun Shows also supports that, but that is not true, and not how the interview went.
“[…] They showed all of a minute of Alex talking but he spent over 30 minutes with the news crew answering all kinds of questions. They picked out the one minute of footage of him speaking and put it into the context that we support private party background checks […]
“I cannot stress enough that my business DOES NOT SUPPORT background checks between individuals for several reasons. 
“#1. I do not feel that the government should be allowed to tell you that you cannot sell your private property without the government getting involved. If we allow the government to get involved in the sale of private property, what's next? Are they going to regulate me selling my car to someone who had a DUI in the past? […]
“#5 The state makes a lot of money off of background checks. Many people think we profit off of that, but we do not. The state charges us $25 for each background check that we pay monthly. We collect the $25 from the customer, and then pay the state at the end of each month. Last year alone my business paid the NV Department of Public Safety close to $60,000.00 in background check money. Other states are not required to go through the department of public safety and they deal directly with the FBI and there is no fee for a background check in most states, and there is no two hour wait before a DPS employee answers a phone. It is almost immediate with response. […] 
“We as a business are so anti-individual background check that any time someone walks in to do a transfer between private parties, we ALWAYS try to talk them out of using us to do it. We explain that it is completely legal for them to do the background check without using us. We ONLY will do a private party transfer in the store if the two people insist that the firearm go through a FFLs A&D books. If we supported individual background checks we would try to get people in the store so we could charge them a transfer fee and make a little money, but we personally do not believe in that and go out of our way to discourage it since it is not illegal to transfer between private parties.
 “I'm not sure what else I can state to help people understand that we are definitely for private individual liberty and against private party background checks. […] 
“We were sort of thrust into this interview because we are the official out of state transfer dealer for the Rocky Mountain Gun Show. The context that was being used at the time was that there were dealers doing sales without background checks at the Rocky Mountain Gun Show, and we were trying to step in and explain that that simply is not true. ALL transfers between a dealer at the gun show are required to have a background check and no funny business was happening at the Rocky Mountain Gun Show. 
"I can assure everyone reading this that we will never do another news interview with ANYONE again. We were trying to assure the news reporter that nothing illegal was happening at the gun show with DEALER transfers, and there really wasn’t a need for more legislation because everything was happening according to federal law." 
Alex was described as a "gun control advocate", despite making no such comment in his clip. Alex clarified his comments on Facebook, stating that he was referring to the required dealer 'Brady checks' on retail sales (which comprise the vast majority of gun sales).Alex said: 
"She apparently forgot the part during the interview after this where she asked if I supported background checks for individuals and I said "No, I don't. I have personally been involved in several private sales...To set the record straight I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and a Veteran." 
Maddela issued this apology: 
"Last night we interviewed Alex Acree regarding background checks for gun sales within a story about the proposed background check initiative. We want to clarify that his opinions are not necessarily those of his employer Fallout Firearms. We apologize for any confusion.” 
Pro-gun control bias?

Gun control advocate Tim Titolo said in his interview that the background check initiative will make it harder for criminals to obtain firearms by banning private sales. Only slightly harder, actually. Very few criminals actually get guns by sales that would be regulated by the initiative. All the available, pre-existing, criminal outlets would still exist. Maddela and the advocates failed to mention that no mechanism will exist to actually enforce the law or determine if a gun was bought or sold privately without a background check.

Strangely, while a lot of the dealers and personalities, including the self-proclaimed Duke of Fremont street, were against the initiative, the piece definitely slanted toward pro-initiative.

Kristen Kidman, acknowledged as a Fox 5 employee and credited as ‘gun owner’ in the piece, was interviewed, apparently to add credence to the idea that gun owners support private sale background checks. In reality, most do not. It is incredibly misleading, biased, and hardly objective reporting to interview an employee of the same news station, who conveniently has the same opinion that the segment is trying to argue.   

The report did correctly point out that the group leading the universal background check initiative, ‘Nevadans’ for Background Checks, is backed and funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Initiative supporters are very keen to promote themselves as ‘grassroots’ when they are anything but.

Gun owners are wary of media reporting on issues of gun rights. The mainstream media is well-known for having a liberal bias and often distorts coverage of gun related issued. Local gun owners reacted with skepticism in response to Maddela’s teaser Tweets about her piece.

Noted gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg sponsored his own gun-reporting service, The Trace. The Trace is fairly transparent as an anti-gun media outlet dedicated to subtly and not-so-subtly offering pro-gun control propaganda. It claims to present a “moderate” take on the issue of gun violence, yet its articles highlight almost exclusively the problems that guns cause and none of their solutions. While it isn’t the same preaching to the choir as the obnoxious group Moms Demand Action does, it is not the independent journalistic source it claims to be.

Because of the amount of money flowing in to Nevada from Bloomberg an other anti-gun sources, just as in Washington and Oregon, who recently had their own bans on private gun sales enacted, gun owners are wary. Common tactics are getting local news to cover the issue of background checks, ostensibly from the side of supporting them. Reporters were encouraged to apply to a Bloomberg-backed media workshop on 'gun violence'; obviously this was an indoctrination camp on how Bloomberg and his ilk wants gun control covered. 'Did Ms. Maddela attend?' one wonders.

Local TV News Not a Paragon of Public Debate

Local TV news is a horrible medium for reporting nuanced issues. It's a half-hour of coverage, repeated several times, designed to get the most viewership to sell ad-time. Also, because of the ‘sound bite’ culture that pervades the entertainment industry, much information is left out. Is seven seconds really enough to communicate someone’s opinion? Years of experience, education, and thought goes into the formulation of an opinion. Condensing the product of decades into a few seconds is disingenuous as the context necessary to develop and informed opinion is absent from the news material. 
“Not by accident, 7 seconds is the length of the average sound bite in news media. On TV or radio, 7 seconds is how long your spokesperson usually gets to make a point. [...] In online and print media, 7 seconds translates into 23 words or less—a headline and a subhead, or a headline and two bullets. Most of us receive hundreds of emails a day.” (source
A full, fair, and accurate investigation into a topic cannot be made in a six and a half minute video filled with cuts measured in mere seconds. The Boston Globe decried this kind of reporting in its investigation of sound bites: 
“There are plenty of reasons to distrust sound bites and the kind of journalism that produces them. First and most obviously, we miss out on the variety and authenticity of hearing people speak at length, and in their own words.” 
Complex reasoning cannot be hashed out in a 23 word clip, especially when the only part of the conversation used is one that promotes the story’s agenda. Presenting all angles of the story, just the flashy and noisy ones that will tune out screaming children, turn heads from ironing boards, and lift eyes from dinner plates, is not something that is within the interest of local TV news. Their job is to attract viewers in order to sell commercial air time; journalism has always been secondary.

Don’t believe me? Just think about those teaser commercials through Prime Time getting you to hang-on until the ‘Death Storm 2015’ weather report or the story “Will this common grocery store product kill you? Find out a 10,” comes on.

AG Gancarski of explains the problem with local TV reporting: 
“[…] news outfits are owned by powerful holding companies with real agendas and no real interest in anything local, beyond what's best for business. They share reporters and reportage, editorial perspectives, sponsors and sets, and everything that makes a newscast a newscast. [...] 
“[former Action News reporter Cathi Carson (Florida) said] ‘The problem with local news is they are hyper-focused on the competition instead of the content," she says. "The average viewer is not watching all three news outlets at the same time. They don't care if one station had the story two minutes before the other. Somewhere along the way, the race to beat the other stations became the guiding force in local news.” 
Worst of all is that many people simply do not have the time or the inclination to seek alternative sources of news, such as this blog. By years of literal indoctrination, they accept local TV news and the cable outlets as their only sources of information. This report and future ones like it may be the only information they base a vote on their Second Amendment freedom on.

Thankfully, Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet have been able to change this, but the detailed reporting found in newspapers and magazines have either disappeared or are ignored. Low-information voters, those informed by what they catch briefly on TV or hear from others, are the ones who will make choices, often detrimental, based on reports like this one.

I am charging Fox 5 with dereliction of duty. If they do not have an anti-gun agenda and did not want to portray gun shows and gun dealers as supporting the initiative, why did they select the few relevant sentences from many minutes of interview time they did? Facts from the interviewees don't square with what Fox 5 showed. Such reporting that we saw here does not engender gun owners to trust local media.


Sadly, our culture does not have time for the in-depth, primarily written media of the past. On this blog, some of my articles are wildly popular, others not so much, yet those who do take the time to read get their answers they need. has been steadily demolishing long-standing rumors and myths in the Nevada gun community. Despite a short attention span for society as a whole, those who want to know the truth and the full story will seek it out.

As editor, I am an unabashedly biased journalist-activist. To our friends in local TV news, we want better reporting. Don’t try to indoctrinate people, don’t talk down to us, and don’t try and fool us. Provide accurate and objective reporting or don’t try it at all.

-G. C.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open Carriers Speak to Library Trustees

Weathered sign at the W. Charleston Library
About a dozen supports of open carry showed up to the Las Vegas- Clark County Library District board of trustees meeting on Thursday night. The library district has repeatedly and with no legal basis removed patrons legally openly carrying firearms. Six speakers, including Assemblywoman Shelly Shelton, spoke out against the district’s violation of state law protecting  the legal open carry of firearms in the library.

Early arrivals reported seeing four LVMPD officers in the lobby who departed before the meeting began. A large number of library staff, including an unarmed security guard, were greeting attendees, pointedly asking at least one citizen if he was at the meeting “for open carry.” No one was armed at the meeting, which took place at the West Charleston Library.

At first glance, a firearm in a library would seem to be out of place. Among the tall, quiet stacks, violence seldom lurks. Most Americans picture a library as a sacred place of thought and firearms as having a place only on a shooting range. Many citizens choose not to disarm simply because they are entering a library, seeing nothing inherently safe in the usually serene setting. A library may be a statistically safe place, but the streets on the way to the library can be quite violent, which is why most who openly carry in the library carry to begin with.  

‘Gun free’ zones are not havens from violence, as countless school shootings have shown. Disarming citizens who might otherwise protect themselves is not an answer to deranged mass murderers. Nearly every public, mass shooting since 1950 has occurred in a ‘gun free’ zone.

Openly carried firearms, once the mainstay of citizens armed for self-defense, have been making a comeback recently, growing in popularity almost as much as shall-issue concealed firearm permits. Citizens who carry firearms for self-defense do not wantonly unholster their firearms nor leave them lying around in public. There have been no reported accidental discharges of firearms in a library.

In fact, the only ‘incident’ of a firearm causing disruption in a local library was in April, when a man was falsely reported by a juvenile to have a gun at a polling place at the Green Valley Library. Details are sparse, but the man was found to be unarmed and there was no report of any suspicious or dangerous activity. It is believed to have been a hoax 911 call.

The district has shown itself recently to be no friend of the Second Amendment in the on-going saga to get them to stop harassing legally armed citizens in their libraries. What most don't know is that the library district has been actively banning open carry for the better part of this decade. Numerous incidents have occurred, many involving the threat of a trespassing arrest, over the years. Library staff have continually stonewalled requests to comply with state law.

Openly carried firearms not illegal

Openly carried firearms (generally in belt holsters) are not prohibited by law in public buildings. State law (NRS 202.3673) specifically prohibits only concealed firearms in public buildings. An opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau in this year’s legislative session confirmed this fact. Legislators took no action to ban openly carried firearms in public buildings.

Interestingly, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District prohibits only concealed firearms in all its facilities without distinction, as per its Rules of Conduct: “Firearms are prohibited as outlined in NRS 202.3673.” That section specifically prohibits only concealed firearms when signs or metal detectors are present at each public entrance.

Librarians are known for being dedicated to freedom of speech who want to protect the free exchange of ideals. Their concern is that some patrons may feel a firearm to be intimidating and thus cause some to avoid the library. The library district has cited their duty to keep the library “free and accessible” to the public as the reason they choose to ban legally carried firearms, despite any reports of anyone being intimidated by an open carrier.

Library administration has cited NRS 379.040, stating that the library has the authority to make reasonable regulations. It also requires that a “library must forever be and remain free and accessible to the public […].” Denying access to a library based solely upon the fact a patron is legally openly carrying a firearm violates the law. Perversely, the district has quoted the second clause, “reasonable regulations [etc.],” to justify their ban and to deny free access to the library to those legally carrying firearms.

Also, the administration seems to be making its own rules, claiming NRS 379.040 gives them the power to make such a prohibition. The power to make regulations belongs solely to the board of trustees and not an employee. Again, there is no such district rule prohibiting openly carried firearms, though the unlawful practices would be in violation of state preemption.


State preemption of local firearm laws explicitly prohibits the district’s behavior. Vernon Brooks, a speaker at the meeting, said: “I don’t think the legislature could be more clear.” Having uniform gun laws statewide avoids a confusing patchwork that could potentially trap an otherwise law abiding citizen unintentionally. In fact, state law had to be amended to avoid such a trap Clark County had made.

The legislature made its intent to invalidate any local regulation of firearms, except unsafe discharge of firearms, and reserve all right of firearm regulation to itself. In no way can any local government body make any rule or ordinance prohibiting carry of firearms. All such laws, rules, and regulations were declared to be null and void. 
NRS 244.364 (in part)
(a) The purpose of this section is to establish state control over the regulation of and policies concerning firearms [...] to ensure that such regulation and policies are uniform throughout this State and to ensure the protection of the right to keep and bear arms, which is recognized by the United States Constitution and the Nevada Constitution.
(b) The regulation of the [...] possession, carrying [...] of firearms [...] in this State and the ability to define such terms is within the exclusive domain of the Legislature, and any other law, regulation, rule or ordinance to the contrary is null and void.
(c) This section must be liberally construed to effectuate its purpose. 
In June, Gov. Sandoval signed SB 175 and SB 240, which created the above section. This was also the law that struck down Clark County handgun registration ‘blue cards’. All local municipalities were required to repeal all local firearm laws (except unsafe discharge ordinances) and all have done so, except Clark County, whose commissioners belatedly repeated it after the October 1st deadline on October 20th.

Penalties in the twin senate bills created stiff civil penalties for violation and allow for up to treble damages for violation of state preemption laws.

Other Libraries

The only known Nevada library that actively enforces this policy is the Las Vegas-Clark County district. In 2014, the Henderson Library District board of trustees addressed the same matter. This was brought about because of an incident the editor of Nevada Carry was personally involved in. 
“The admin team and branch managers met with the library district’s attorney Brin Gibson about the open carry issue. The law allows for a person to openly carry a firearm [holstered] in the library, but it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon [even with a permit] in the library. (source

The open carry supporters in attendance were very diverse, including mothers, fathers, and members of diverse ethnic communities. While under Nevada’s open meeting law prohibits the board from discussing topics presented in the open public comments period, six speakers addressed the board in support, none in dissent.

When speaker Vernon Brooks started off the public statements, many of the board members appeared annoyed at the mention of firearms. Many trustees adopted defensive postures and their demeanors varied from annoyed to openly hostile. Trustee Keiba Crear looked bored while Trustee Moulton appeared sour, as if her patience was being tested.

Trustee Sheila Moulton, when a trustee of the Clark County School District, supported gun-free zones and was against arming and training teachers to protect students.

"I’m not for putting guns in the classroom even when teachers are trained on how to use them,” she said in 2012.

Tony Shelton, husband and policy director of Assemblywoman Shelton, said that the West Charleston library was special to him because the particular library branch was one where he brought his daughter since she was a toddler. 
“I can understand how those who are not used to seeing private citizens armed for the protection of their own families and other can be initially uncomfortable with that idea. The answer to that is education.; which is what libraries are all about. The fact is that we have over 300 million people in this country with all the senseless and premeditated murders over the decades not a single one can be attributed to a law-abiding open carrier.
 “The fear is unfounded, and to give you an idea of the way it is unfounded, the way it looked out here with the extra police officers here, you guys expected Rambo to come in. The fact is some of these people here tonight are former military, former law enforcement, former police, former security, or even just responsible mothers and fathers. Many of them have openly carried firearms for years, from sunrise to sunset, without incident or interruption.
 “American’s have the God-given right to carry firearms for their safety and others around them. They should be admired qualities rather than be demonized. Second, fear cannot override the law. […] We are all bound by the same laws.”
Following up was Assemblywoman Shelton herself, a co-sponsor of the state firearm preemption bills (SB 172 and SB 240). 
“I have been receiving emails and phone calls from the very situations they have been talking about there have been people who have been open carrying in the libraries and they have been asked to leave. And when they try to educate the employees that they have the right to open carry in the library they’re threatened with arrest […]"
She asked the board to put the issue on their agenda. “But it doesn’t take that, it just takes you guys sending out a memo.”

Debra, a homeschooling mother, said it was important for homeschooling to come to the library. “Teaching our kids to protect themselves and having open carry is really, really important to us. I just want you to do what is right by us so that we can continue coming to the libraries to teach children.”

Final supporting speaker Jessica felt that parents should not be forced between reading with their children or protecting them. 
“I came for support, especially for the women that open carry. A lot of us are mothers that have children who come to the library for the resources here. A lot of us want to be able to protect our families. We never know where crime is going to happen. We just want the opportunity to protect ourselves and our children.” 
The seventh speaker of the night, Adelaide Chen, Data Editor from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, spoke on a completely different topic that incidentally touched on the same problem an open carry activist had when requesting public records.

Chen was advising the trustees of the district’s non-compliance with the Nevada Open Records Act, as the district refused to release which location branch employees worked at as part of research into public salaries. District spokeswoman Karen Bramwell-Thomas cited the information could not be released due to “safety concerns” despite the Clark County School District releasing the work location of its employees. State law does not protect the work location of employees from public record requests.

Chen said she has never had this kind of problem before. Bramwell-Thomas has created difficulty for open carry supporters attempting to request public records.


Many open carry supporters have stated that if the library continues to attempt to illegally eject them or has them arrested and trespassed, they will file suit. Unfortunately, the library district seems eager to be a willing defendant.

In a private conversation recounted on Facebook, a citizen reported a conversation with district counsel, Gerald Welt, wherein Mr. Welt stated he was aware of the state preemption law, but open carriers would still be kicked out and he expected the district to be sued. If these allegations are true, they are totally irresponsible. Taxpayers should not be forced to bear the burden of government officials’ malfeasance.

Mr. Shelton said: “I was in her office [Assemblywoman Shelton] when your representative came in [to the assemblywoman’s office] to ask for more funding for the library. I don’t remember excess of funds being available to deal with lawsuits that could potentially come […].”

The District, at this board’s direction, could easily remedy this situation by ordering staff to abide by state law. Staff could be properly educated with little more than a memo, thus avoiding frivolous expenditure of taxpayer dollars. In Michigan, which has firearm preemption laws similar to Nevada, an appeals court found in favor of open carriers after a local library district improperly tried to exclude citizens legally openly carrying firearms.

Note: The editor was a speaker at the board of trustees meeting. Editor can be reached for comment at

Open Carry Delaying Police Response to Active Shooters?

Could open carry delay police response to an active shooter scenario? That is exactly what is being alleged after the October 31 shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Various news outlets have twisted the narrative to blame ‘open carry’ and the dispatcher for dismissing the seriousness of the call, irrespective of the actual details of the 911 tapes (linked). Evidence shows the dispatcher did no such thing and responded appropriately to the information conveyed.

First 911 Call

Two women and a bicyclist were killed in a bizarre rampage that left part of the gunman’s apartment on fire. Police were initially dispatched to a potential burglary call based on the information from the first 911 call.

A suspicious person call was made to the Colorado Springs police, reporting a man carrying a black long-gun carrying gas cans and acting suspiciously. The caller’s statements indicated that the man was making trips back and forth from a building. During the conversation with the dispatcher, the caller, Naomi Bettis, implied that the suspect may have been a burglar.

Bettis stated she saw the suspect, walking around with 2 cans of gas, black rifle “with a strap” (sling). He was walking up to a vacant business approaching doors and “broken windows.” She felt he was dangerous and was afraid of him, though she was calm during her first call. She said the gun “was kind of scary,” but didn’t know if it was a firearm or BB gun.

The dispatcher, after allegedly dismissing the gun as ‘open carry’ (listen to the tape, she did nothing of the sort), mentioned that having the gas cans was suspicious and was “going to keep the call open for that.”

The dispatcher praised Bettis for doing the right thing to report the suspicious subject that it was better to be safe than sorry. The suspect was not engaged in any violent or illegal act during the first call, giving police no indication of what was to happen next.

Editor’s note: Based on my law enforcement experience, the description of the suspect’s behavior indicated that potentially a burglary or arson (broken windows and gas cans) may have been about to be committed. In urban areas, the vast majority of open carriers don’t walk around with a long-guns or carry around gas cans while slinging a rifle.

Second 911 Call

The controversy as to whether or not the legality of open carry contributed to the shootings was based on a statement made by Bettis to the Washington Post
“But that’s what I told her, and all of a sudden she started saying something about— I don’t remember what they call it— open arms … and she said, you know, we have that law here. And it just kind of blew me away, like she didn’t believe me or something. […] “I don’t think she probably thought it was an emergency until I made the second call […]” 
Listen to the tapes, this is exactly what the dispatcher said regarding open carry. Bettis was not brushed off. Bettis' statements, made after the fact and probably without knowing the 911 call would be made public, made statements that are not supported by reality. She is mistaken in her recollection of the call, her opinion possibly warped by the traumatic incident she witnessed.

Should police respond to calls of open carriers?

Colorado Springs Police’s policy regarding responding to open carriers is: 
The mere act of openly carrying a gun in a non-threatening manner is not automatically to be considered suspicious behavior. Therefore, if we get a call from a citizen about a person who has a firearm in plain sight and they are not acting in a suspicious manner, they have not brandished it, discharged it, or violated any of the previous conditions; CSPD will not respond. 
However, police did respond due to the additional circumstances that Bettis described. Bettis did not call first to report a shooting in progress, she reported what seemed to be a burglary about to be committed by an armed man. 
Dispatcher: “Are you or anyone else in immediate danger?”
Bettis: “No.” 
Since no crime was being committed yet, only suspicious acts (Bettis being the only reporting party), police had no reason to speed to scene. Had the suspect merely been loading his vehicle with gas and guns for a hunting trip, police would have had no cause to respond at all (given the first call alone). Bettis’ call alerting the police may have aided in saving lives by moving the police officers closer to the area when it was upgraded to a shooting in progress. Guns plus suspicious behavior warrants police attention, while guns alone does not.

Karin Mracek, communications manager for the Carson City Sheriff's Office said that: "If we receive a phone call from a citizen, reference someone with a gun, that they feel is suspicious, we will enter a call for service.  We will send one, or more deputies to the location, conveying as much information as we can, so they can give it the correct priority and make the most appropriate approach."

A spokesperson from the Nevada Highway Patrol who couldn’t speak on the record told us: 
“The dispatchers are put in a precarious position that relies a lot on what questions they ask next.  What is the person doing with the guns?  What is their demeanor?  How are they dressed?  I know a lot of those questions may sound like profiling, but unless the dispatcher has a crystal ball, they don't know what the person with the guns is doing or planning to do.  I believe they [the CSPD dispatcher] acted correctly in creating a call for service and dispatching a unit to observe and possibly make contact with the man because until he shot someone, he hadn't done anything illegal.

The response from Moms Demand Action is typical of the thought processes of those who think the police are omnipresent and can stop crime before it occurs in every instance.  That simply isn't the case and when you expect police to be able to do that, you walk a fine line between getting lucky and stopping a crime in progress and violating the civil rights of good citizens.” 
Open carry vs. concealed carry

Colorado Springs City Councilman Bill Murray decried open carry, calling on the city to ban it, despite Colorado state law prohibiting local governments from making firearm restrictions, known as state preemption. Nevada has similar laws. “Open-carry is a privilege, it is not a right. Why would a person openly carry a weapon down the street, except to intimidate?” Murray is mistaken. In fact, in Colorado, like Nevada, licensed concealed carry is actually a privilege, while open carry is a right., in the above linked article, explains how the Bloomberg backed anti-gun group, Moms Demand Action, blame open carry for creating ‘confusion’ to the police response. As the facts above state, nothing of the sort occurred.

In Nevada, open carriers have occasionally been the subject of ‘man with a gun’ calls only for police to determine no law was violated. A citizen openly carrying a firearm on the Strip was illegally detained by LVMPD who embarrassingly learned no law prohibited it, resulting in LVMPD staff being retrained. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Brief History of the Library District's Open Carry Antics

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District has shown itself recently to be no friend of the Second Amendment in the on-going saga to get them to stop harassing legally armed citizens in their libraries. What most don't know is that the library district has been actively banning open carry for the better part of this decade. They've been remarkably consistent in their 'pound sand' attitude. Let's take a look.

​A 2011 letter from Jeanne Goodrich, the then director:
"The District instituted such a policy out of concern for the safety of all its patrons, including children. 
"As you pointed out, pursuant to NRS 202.3673, carriers of concealed weapons can be prohibited from entering libraries. From the District’s perspective, the same fears and concerns carrying concealed weapons are heightened for individuals who do not have concealed weapons permits and are carrying unconcealed weapons into libraries.
In enacting
NRS 370.040 [sic], the State granted the District authority to implement those regulations it deems reasonable and weighing the District’s concerns of public safety versus and individual’s right to bring a firearm into a library, the District implemented this reasonable restriction. The law permits the District to trespass any individual in violation of this policy and the District intends on doing so pursuant to its 'no firearms' policy. 
"I hope that you understand the basis for the policy and continue to visit out libraries, even if you will be restricted from carrying a weapon when do [sic] so."
Goodrich’s statement centers entirely on feelings and perceptions, not facts or legalities. It’s interesting to note that she never fully explains that the concerns of the district are, just that there are unspecified “fears and concerns” regarding people carrying firearms. Also, from this letter, it is clear that from at least 2011, the library district has illegally banned even legally carried firearms. She cannot claim amendments to state law, as the statute in question (NRS 202.3673) was changed in a way that allows openly carried firearms in 2007—four years previously.

A 2012 letter from Robert Duren, the then deputy director, seems to acknowledge only concealed firearms are prohibited (refers to NRS 202.3673 in context of a denial of written permission to carry a concealed firearm by a citizen) and takes advantage of the ambiguous NRS 379.040. 
Your letter dated September 12, 2012 was referred to me as I oversee public services for the Library District. Unfortunately, I cannot accommodate your request to carry your concealed handgun into any of our library branches. It is the Library District's practice that the Library Rules of Conduct, which states that firearms are prohibited as outlined in NRS 202.3673, be administered fairly and equally to all patrons visiting our facilities. 
In regards to the open carry of your weapon, the Library District also prohibits this under NRS 370.040. The statute grants the Library District the authority to implement those regulations it deems reasonable and weighing the District's concerns of public safety versus an individual's right to bring a firearm into the library, the District implemented this reasonable restriction.

April 2015
Centennial Hills Library

A citizen carrier was browsing with his wife and kids. After about 30 minutes, he was approached by a security guard who stated that the citizen’s firearm was not allowed. The citizen informed the guard of the reality of the law and he deferred to the manager.
The assistant manager came over and the citizen explained the law. The branch manager was then supposed to come over. The security guard left. The assistant manager returned with a print out of library policy and NRS 202.3673. The citizen pointed out that only concealed firearms were prohibited under law.

[The security guard] informed me that after their deliberation on the matter, and him calling his boss, they determined that they were wrong and I was correct. After a couple more minutes the Assistant Manager came back out and apologized and said that I was within my rights to continue to open carry in the library. [...] She also said that this had never come up because everyone they've ever confronted about it, politely just left.
June 2015 (post-enhanced preemption)
A citizen inquired as to whether or not the district would honor the provisions of SB 175/240 since they were enacted. Mario Aguilar, Assistant Library Operations Director, replied:

The information from the recent bills is being reviewed by the District’s legal counsel and management team. Currently, library policy bans bringing firearms into our buildings in order to protect the health and safety of our patrons. We are evaluating the changes in the law, which are expected to become effective 10/01/15, and you may not bring your firearm into the building until such evaluation is complete.
November 2015
Windmill Library

A citizen carrier reported on Facebook that he was being threatened with trespass from the Windmill Library for openly carrying. Metro PD was reportedly called, but the citizen had to leave for a business meeting before they could arrive. His intent was either have the library comply with state law or be illegally trespassed by the library staff. The editor has asked the Facebooker for an interview, but we have not had a reply. 

It’s worth noting that at no time has the library district stated that they are exempt from state preemption laws which have been in effect since 1989. This is a tacit acknowledgement that they are indeed required to comply with state regulation of firearms. Prior to the changes made to state preemption of firearm laws in 2015, NRS 244.364 read, in part (emphasis added):
1. Except as otherwise provided by specific statute, the Legislature reserves for itself such rights and powers as are necessary to regulate the transfer, sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transportation, registration and licensing of firearms and ammunition in Nevada, and no county may infringe upon those rights and powers. As used in this subsection, "firearm" means any weapon from which a projectile is discharged by means of an explosive, spring, gas, air or other force.
Now that the language has become absolutely explicit, in part because of Clark County’s continual abuse of Second Amendment rights, the district can in no way logically attempt to deny the fact they must comply with the law. Instead, their tactic has been to abuse common sense and claim that NRS 379.040 gives them carte blanche to violate state law by making whatever regulation they would like.

The library district’s repetitive use of “reasonable regulation” smacks of the “it’s common sense” lines of the notorious Bloomberg shill groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. Perhaps the district thinks that if they can say “reasonable regulation” enough times, a magic spell will be cast and the words will somehow become truth. Instead it shows that they are grasping at straws in desperation to justify their illegal and illogical ban. 

The Editor and Henderson Libraries (they get it)

Way back in August of 2014, yours truly, the editor (G. C.), went to the Paseo Verde Library (Henderson District). I happened to be openly carrying my pistol that day. I was approached by a volunteer who proceeded to tell me guns in the library were illegal. I politely informed him it was perfectly legal, and he turned around left in a huff, refusing to discuss the matter any further. So much for education and polite discourse libraries are supposed to be known for. He conferred with who I assume was the on-duty librarian. I made my selection and left without further incident.
Why was I openly carrying that day? I was out and about, running errands and going places as people are wont to do on their days off. I chose to carry openly because it was a lot more comfortable than stuffing a pistol in my waistband in the middle of summer. Since I have no legal obligation to (when openly carrying), I am not going to disarm simply because people at the library would feel more comfortable.
Normally, I try and visit the library after work, which means I would only have my concealed carry pistol with me. Since one of my main goals in life is to not become a criminal, that gun never gets to go in the library with me. I’m well versed on NRS 202.3673.
After the incident, I sent some emails to the library administration. They chose to ignore my emails, a rather childish tactic in light of what transpired next. While doing research for theon-going issues with the Las Vegas-Clark County District, I discovered that I was the subject of a discussion of a board of trustees’ discussion.

Recently a gentleman came in with an open carry weapon. It appeared his purpose was to challenge someone to confront him. The admin team will meet with the district’s attorney, Brin Gibson, and go through the applicable laws to decide what the district’s stance should be. This may result in a policy update brought back to the Board. There haven’t been any real problems; this was just something a little out of the ordinary. Jim Frey asked how the situation was resolved. Angela Thornton said staff asked him to leave. He said he didn’t have to, but did leave soon after. He wanted to prove a point. Angela Thornton said in Oklahoma libraries are considered government buildings where weapons are not allowed. If the Board has any questions they should direct them to Angela Thornton. The meeting is scheduled for October 1st. (9/18/2014)
I was never asked to leave. What was said to me was: “Sir, this is a public building and we have signs prohibiting weapons in the building.” When I explained and tried to give the volunteer a card for’s predecessor site, he refused it and walked away. I was left alone after that. I never said 'I didn’t have to leave, I just explained the law.
Was I there to prove a point? Nope, just going to the library that day as I explained above. Earlier I discussed with some colleagues that I was not going to the library unarmed if I happened to be openly carrying at the given time. I’m not some dude looking for attention; I’m actually surprisingly shy and reserved. I’m not into the open carry movement because I think it’s cool or because my dad is a Fudd and I’m rebelling against him.
Maybe the actual details were lost in translation, exaggerated, or deliberately misconstrued. I did send a detailed email to library administration requesting a reply and that they educate their staff and volunteers. They hit the mark halfway, but I would have loved to clear up and misconceptions about ‘the incident’. Additionally, it’s pretty darn disrespectful to citizens to simply ignore their emails and then whine in a board meeting.
And what the heck does Oklahoma have to do with anything? This is Nevada. It’s like saying “In Utah, gambling is illegal.” That’s nice. Nevada’s legislature has ensured that NRS 202.3673 allows Nevadans the right to bear arms in most government buildings. If they wanted to ban openly carried firearms, they would have written the law that way.
In the follow-up meeting, the district’s counsel explained that open carry is perfectly legal in the library. 
The admin team and branch managers met with the library district’s attorney Brin Gibson about the open carry issue. The law allows for a person to openly carry a firearm [holstered] in the library, but it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon [even with a permit] in the library. The library staff response will be to call the police to ask any person open carrying about their intentions to ensure they are someone who can carry legally, safely and responsibly in the library. If a person is carrying an unholstered weapon, staff will pull the fire alarm and call 911. Gayle Hornaday said the situation rarely occurs. On the rare occasion a person has open carried in the library, he did so to make a statement. (10/16/2015)
Mr. Gibson did the right thing by supporting the right to bear arms and correctly recognizing that NRS 202.3673 protects openly carried firearms in public buildings. This is in contrast to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s counsel, who privately stated he had no intention of advising his client to comply with law and expected to be sued.

The library has no business calling the police to check and see if someone can legally carry a firearm. A, they’re not law enforcement, they’re librarians. B, the police would have no probable cause to detain anyone not otherwise engaged in illegal activity to check and see if they were carrying a firearm legally. It’s a total waste of police resources, harassment, and ought to be abuse of 911.

In a past instance (2012 if I recall correctly) involving someone else, police were called, the citizen carrier voluntarily stood by to talk to the very professional Henderson Police. Library staff was educated on the law by the officers. Only if someone is demonstrably unsafe (handling their weapon) or becoming violent should police be called.

As for their policy for someone carrying an unholstered weapon, that’s a perfectly reasonable response. The Nevada open carry community frowns on so-called Chipotle Ninjas who carry long-guns openly, especially un-slung at the ‘low-ready’ position. A reasonable person would well within their right to assume that to be threatening. If I saw someone walk into the library with an un-slung AR-15, I would probably draw down on them. In urban society such as we have in Nevada today, only handguns need to be carried for self-defense and long-guns can be left in the car or at home.

Since then, there have been no issues whatsoever (aside from the occasional glance or whisper by a fellow patron) at the Henderson libraries. No one has ever panicked at the sight of my gun. Most of the times I’ve gone to the library since last August, I haven’t carried at all, going in the evening after work. Obviously I’m not looking for attention and open carry in the library is actually pretty rare.

The good part is that Henderson (even its library district) is a lot more respectful towards the law and laid back than Las Vegas/Clark County is. The Henderson Library District took the “live and let live” route and didn’t decide to violate state law. The library staff and board may disagree, but they did so respectfully and obeyed the law. Bravo! 

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District needs to take a page out of Henderson’s book and adopt the same tactic. Educate the staff, stop harassing those legally openly carrying firearms, and this ‘issue’ goes away. There won’t be an influx of open carriers or a sudden pandemic of violence. No one’s kickers will get in a knot and the district won’t wind up get sued by somebody. If they just let open carriers alone, they’d be surprised at what a total non-issue it would be.

Now everybody go visit the library and read a book. Or better yet buy one; writers’ like me need the money.
G. C. Gates, your humble editor, is a former law enforcement officer, a writer, a scholar, and a lover of hardboiled detective fiction.