LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Racist comments made at a conservative political event are sparking outrage. The event titled “Vegas CCW” class was held on Saturday, April 10, at a Las Vegas-Clark Library. Several Republican political candidates were in attendance, including Mayor of North Las Vegas John Lee and Assemblyman Tom Roberts.

An instructor at the Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) event showed slides titled, “Firearm Safety for White People,” and “Firearm Safety for Black People.”

Racist CCW event in Las Vegas slide “Firearm Safety for Black People” (KLAS)

In a well-attended public library, CCW instructor Nephi Khaliki showed slides listing, “Always keep the gun right side up. Always lick the chicken grease off your fingers before shooting. Always make sure there is a white person around so you have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong in your life. And always aim for small children to ensure you actually hit another gang member.” 

During the previous slide referring to white people, Khaliki said, “Always put your beer down before handling a firearm. Always keep your finger out of your nose while shooting. Always wear a wife beater on the range.  And always make sure there are no minorities in your backdrop.”

Slide from CCW event in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 10 titled “Firearm Safety for White People” (KLAS)

Several Republican politicians were set to attend the event including:

  • Assemblyman Tom Roberts, candidate for Clark County sheriff
  • Mayor of North Las Vegas John Lee, candidate for Governor of Nevada
  • Sharelle Mendenhall, candidate for U.S. Senate
  • Joey Gilbert, candidate for Nevada Governor (did not attend)
  • Noah Malgeri, candidate for U.S. Congress was listed as expected guest (did not attend)
  • Michele Fiore, Las Vegas City Councilwoman and candidate for Nevada State Treasurer listed as an attendee online, spokesperson for the politician said she did not attend the event

Lee and Roberts both appear in videos taken at the event. The 8 News Now I-Team reached out to both candidates Tuesday.

Roberts, who is running for Clark County sheriff, said he spoke at the event but was not present during slideshow portion of the event. He said of the content presented was something he wouldn’t use or condone. In a prepared statement Wednesday afternoon, Tom Roberts condemned the ‘Vegas CCW’ class and the slides used at the event, saying:

“I do not condone the graphics that were used during the presentation. Throughout my career, I have always strived to build a community that is both welcoming and inclusive for our residents. I was not aware, nor was I present during the presentation, and believe that the insensitive and hateful language has no place in Nevada.”

Tom Roberts, Candidate for Sheriff

Noah Malgeri, candidate for U.S. Congress said he didn’t attend the class but issued a prepared statement on Wednesday afternoon. Here’s an excerpt of his response:

“I am a strong supporter of firearms education and the Second Amendment. I have never attended one of Nephi’s classes before and have no role in the curriculum, but I don’t believe that Nephi is in any way racist. I understand that his presentation included content directed at several different groups represented in the audience but that he mostly directed his humor at himself. The constant “moral outrage” attacks on free speech and comedy in particular have become tedious, and are resoundingly rejected by most regular people, including me.”

Noah V. Malgeri, candidate for U.S. Congress

In her statement to our 8 News Now I-Team on Wednesday, candidate for U.S. Senate, Sharelle Mendenhall said she agreed to speak at the event because she supports Nevadans getting their CCW permits, adding:

“I gave a quick speech supporting the 1st and 2nd amendment and the rights to get a CCW here in Nevada and then I left. As I was leaving I heard him saying at the beginning of the class: ‘This is an R-rated class and I bust on everyone equally.'”

Sharelle Mendenhall, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

The “Vegas CCW” instructor Nephi Khaliki presented the slides and defended and made light of the content in a statement to 8 News Now’s I-Team:

“Due to time constraints at the event, I sincerely regret I wasn’t able to poke fun at more of my friends.” 

Since the release of the video, the content and slides have sparked a wave of outrage on social media and from the Las Vegas community including the NAACP. President Roxann McCoy expressed her disappointment:

“It’s sad and disappointing to see candidates condoning this type of rhetoric! They are all making cursory statements now when this happened last Saturday and they said nothing until they were called on it! How can you say you will fairly represent all people and allow racist rhetoric against others? How are you all really? The lack of acknowledgement to denounce tells the entire story.”

Because the event was held at a local library, the I-Team reached out to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. Betsy Ward, Director of Brand and Marketing, sent the following response:

“Kelvin Watson, executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, was traveling today and was not available for an interview. But he did emphasize that the Library District condemns hate speech in any form and will be meeting to review our room rental policy. The group in question rented a meeting room from the Library District and it is in no way connected to our organization, beliefs, or views.”

In a video posted on the Vegas-CCW Facebook page, Donald Trump, Jr. appears in a video applauding the event. “…I want to acknowledge all of you patriots out there. Keep up the good work. Keep signing up, people. Make sure we protect the Second Amendment.”

Mayor of North Las Vegas John Lee did not respond to requests made Tuesday or Wednesday.