Debate begins over proposed gun-control laws in Nevada

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The debate over stricter gun laws in Nevada is heating up. The first hearing was held for Assembly Bill 291. It would ban the modifications of semi-automatic guns, including bump stocks.

AB291 is being called the “1 October Bill.” Most of the attention has gone to the proposed ban on devices like bump stocks. But it also calls for other changes to alcohol consumption while carrying a weapon and giving discretion to local governments on gun regulations.

A tearful assemblywoman, Sandra Jauregui, introduced Assembly Bill 291. She is a sponsor of the proposed legislation and also a 1 October survivor. The bill would make bump stocks illegal. That was the gun accessory was used by the gunman during the Las Vegas Strip massacre.

It would also ban other modifications that make semi-automatic guns fire like automatic weapons.

“AB291 makes sense to me because it will actually save lives and prevent trauma and that is the goal of our organization,” said Kristee Watson, who supports AB291.

She is with the group, Moms Demand Action. Several members attended the first hearing in support of the bill and so did a group of opponents.

“The bill really doesn’t cure the problem that these mentally disturbed people are killing people,” said Julie Hereford, against AB291.

She is with the non-profit Nevadans Can and believes the law is infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

The bill would also lower the alcohol blood level for someone carrying a gun from .10 to .08. and remove state preemption laws and allow local governments to make gun laws tougher than state restrictions.

“We have enough laws on the books, if they just enforce them now,” said Joe Wyson, against AB291.

After hearing some concerns over broad language in the bill, Jauregui says she’s willing to update the wording to clarify her intentions.

AB291 has to clear several more hearings before it makes it to the governor’s desk.

“I feel really hopeful,” Watson said. “I think that Nevada is moving in the right direction.”

A hearing for a separate bill, AB153, starts at 6 p.m. That bill would make it a crime to leave a weapon anywhere in the reach of a child.

Meanwhile, a federal ban on bump stocks went into effect last Tuesday.

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