LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — State Senator Ira Hansen took aim at Democrats on Monday in Carson City, blasting the majority party for limiting discussion of gun rights in a committee hearing last week and calling for a commitment to fairness.
Hansen, a Republican who represents the northwest portion of Nevada, called Thursday’s joint hearing of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees “a disgrace” and “a sham.” He criticized the committee for limiting comments to one minute and allowing no presentation in opposition.
“I’m in the minority, right? And when I was in the majority I made sure that your side got every opportunity to have a fair and impartial hearing before our committees,” Hansen said during Monday’s Senate floor session.
“As legislators, one of our jobs is to hear both sides of an issue. While we all have very strong personal opinions on many of these things, our job in what we call a hearing is to actually allow both sides an opportunity to present their views. And this so-called hearing that occurred on Thursday actually was an advocacy demonstration that was masquerading as a hearing,” Hansen said.
Thursday’s hearing included bill presentations for Assembly Bill 354 and 355, bills targeting assault weapons.
Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Las Vegas) made an impassioned speech as the Thursday hearing began, talking about her struggle to recover from the 1 October shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas in 2017. “For four years I carried with me an anger. An anger that people took life for granted because I knew that someone else died, but for some reason, I didn’t,” she said. Jauregui has repeated her heartfelt words in previous efforts to argue against guns.
Republicans anticipated the Democrats’ arguments for the bills last week before hearing, issuing a news release describing “irregular hearings on very short notice” and vowing GOP opposition to all the gun control measures.
Hansen’s speech showed Republicans’ frustration with the Democratic majority.
“Everybody in the state of Nevada should know that at the Nevada Legislature, both sides will be granted an equal opportunity to present their views before those of us that are going to pass laws affecting over 3 million human beings,” Hansen said.
Hansen spoke a few minutes after Democratic Senator Dallas Harris (D-Las Vegas) talked about the shooting Monday morning in Louisville, Kentucky. Harris cited statistics that there have been 145 mass shootings so far in 2023. “This will happen again before this Legislative Session is over,” he said.