Nye County board declares ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary’ to new gun laws

Editor’s note: This story has been modified to clarify that Nye County passed a resolution Tuesday related to Nevada’s “Red Flag” gun law.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nye County is officially declining to enforce new regulations that take effect in January.

The Nye County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved Resolution 2019-39, declaring a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.” The resolution opposed the “Red Flag” law, intended to take firearms away from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

While a resolution does not have the force of law, it signals that Nye — and likely several other rural Nevada counties — will hold to their opposition of the new gun laws.

The legislation was one of many gun control measures considered in the wake of the 1 October shooting in Las Vegas and a number of other mass shootings around the country.

The county had previously notified the State Legislature of its opposition to new background check requirements. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation early this year requiring background checks on most private party gun sales.

With both resolutions, “the Nye County Board of Commissioners hereby declares intent to oppose unconstitutional restrictions on its citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms through such legal means as may be expedient, including without limitation court action …” as stated at the end of the resolution passed Tuesday.

Regarding background checks, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said in a letter to Sisolak: “As sheriff of Nye County, I agree with (Eureka County) Sheriff Watts: I will not participate in the enforcement of this new law.”

While Sisolak responded at the time that he would work with local law enforcement to review ways to enforce the law, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford has said his office “has a constitutional obligation to uphold the laws of the state.”

Nye County’s resolution signals a possible battle in the courts.