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August 20, 2014

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Lawmaker revives efforts to challenge state, county gun laws

Sen. Don Gustavson

Sen. Don Gustavson

A state senator from Sparks is trying for a second time to eliminate Nevada's concealed weapons law and in the process erase the three-day waiting period in Clark County before purchase of a gun.

It's the same bill Republican Sen. Don Gustavson introduced in the 2009 Legislature.

Gustavson says a person should not have to get a permit to carry a gun in a pocket or a purse. The individual who buys a weapon already goes through a background check.

But his 2011 bill also included the repeal of a law in Clark County that requires 72-hour waiting period before registration of a pistol that is purchased, given as a gift or transferred to a new owner.

And the law says an individual must be a resident of Clark County for 60 days before the weapon can be purchased.

That bill never got a hearing.

Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, said he has not seen Gustavson's proposed bill draft. He says he has no problem with a person's right to bear arms, but "we should not take away a safety check."

Nevada has liberal gun laws, says Horne, and he opposes the repeal of the Clark County registration law. The three-day waiting period allows time for background checks.

And he said he has not heard any complaints from gun owners about the three-day waiting period.

Arizona and Alaska recently repealed their concealed weapons permit laws, and Vermont never had one.

Gustavson says his bill would still require ex-felons to get the concealed weapons permit. And gun owners would have the option of getting a concealed weapons permit that would be honored by other states.

There are an estimated 50,000 concealed weapons permits in Nevada, according to Gustavson. If Republicans control the Senate, Gustavson says his bill will get a hearing in the upcoming session.

In addition, Assemblyman John Ellison, R-Elko, is pushing for a bill to reduce the charge for a concealed weapons permit. He is suggesting it be lowered from $25 to the actual administrative cost of about $15.

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