CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Bills to push people to safely store firearms and to streamline the sealing of marijuana convictions passed a key vote in the state Assembly ahead of a legislative deadline Tuesday.
First, let’s dive into the bump stocks bills. The bills to ban bump stocks and require safe firearm storage were among the dozens of measures Tuesday that cleared a key vote in the state Assembly ahead of a legislative deadline.
Lawmakers in both chambers held a flurry of votes in lengthy floor sessions on Tuesday, a deadline day that dictated if the measures would advance in the lawmaking process.
The ban on bump stocks was included in an omnibus gun bill that would also give counties the ability to pass stricter firearm laws than those imposed by the state. It passed in a largely party-line vote in the Democrat-controlled Assembly.
The bill is sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, who escaped a 2017 Las Vegas music festival in which a gunman used bump stocks to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The Democrat has previously recalled her experience at the shooting to advocate for the bill.
“I would urge you, for the 58 people who lost their lives on Oct. 1, 2017, to support Assembly Bill 291,” she said on the floor Tuesday.
Assemblyman Tom Roberts voted against the measure. The Republican followed Jauregui’s comments and said he is in support of the bump stock ban. But he spoke against giving counties the power to create more stringent firearm laws and says it would create a patchwork of laws.
“It’s not something I believe that we should be giving up to the county commissions, when we have such a large and diverse state with huge differences of opinion on this issue,” he said.
The Assembly passed legislation that would create a criminal penalty for a person who negligently stores their firearm in a place where a child could access it.
The legislation would make the offense a misdemeanor.
Assembly lawmakers also approved legislation that seeks to streamline the sealing of low-level marijuana convictions.
Assemblyman William McCurdy II, a Democrat, is a sponsor of the legislation and has told lawmakers it would help people with such convictions gain employment and remove the stigma of a criminal past.
Those measures would have to pass the Nevada Senate before heading to the governor.
Not all bills survived the legislative deadline.
A Senate bill that would allow terminal patients to kill themselves with medication prescribed by a doctor failed after the chamber did not take it up for a vote.
Supporters argue the legislation will let the patients who are suffering die with dignity and end their pain. Opponents say the bill will lead to abuse and give some an easy path to suicide.
Bill sponsor Sen. David Parks said he was one vote short of passing the legislation and knew clearing the bill in the Senate would be close.
“All I needed to do was sway one person,” the Democrat said.
A similar bill from Parks narrowly passed the Senate last legislative session, but did not receive a vote in the Assembly. Another bill in 2015 did not receive a vote in either chamber.
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, who voted in support of the 2017 measure, said it’s a great bill but the body was not ready to approve it.