Nevada GOP Gov. Faced With Dem Gun Control Bills

( – Democratic lawmakers have passed three gun control bills, but it is unclear whether Republican Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo will sign them.

Lombardo is a former sheriff and an outspoken proponent of the Second Amendment, and a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). In the past, he has broken with GOP colleagues to endorse universal background checks for gun buyers.

But he has also promised to veto any laws that restrict access to so-called “ghost guns.” These are guns, often sold disassembled as part of a do-it-yourself kit, that have no serial numbers or manufacturer’s marks. This makes them nearly impossible to trace. 

There are three gun-control bills on Lombardo’s desk. One would prohibit carrying a gun within 100 yards of a polling location, and this bill also tries to ban ghost guns. Another would raise the legal age for possession of a semi-automatic shotgun or an “assault weapon” from 18 to 21. There is no agreed-upon definition of what makes a gun an “assault weapon.” Nevada already requires handgun purchasers to be 21 or older.

The third bill would ban those convicted of a gross misdemeanor or a felony hate crime from owning a gun for 10 years. 

Sandra Jauregi, Democratic Assembly Majority Leader, sponsored two of the bills. She said the entire gun-control package would “protect second graders” and also the Second Amendment.

The NRA and the Nevada Republican party call the bills unconstitutional.

As with most gun-related bills, the hearings around Nevada’s recent legislation showcased disagreement between opponents and supporters. Several people testified about the personal impact gun violence has had on them, particularly the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.

In 2017, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd gathered for a music festival on the Las Vegas strip. He killed 60 people and injured hundreds more. Police found him dead by his own gun in the hotel room from which he fired. 

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