Assembly passes bills on firearm storage, pot convictions

Published Tue, Apr 23, 2019 (6:20 p.m.)

Updated Tue, Apr 23, 2019 (8:17 p.m.)

CARSON CITY — Bills to push people to safely store firearms and to streamline the sealing of marijuana convictions passed a key vote Tuesday in the state Assembly ahead of a legislative deadline.

The two votes were among a flurry being held by Assembly lawmakers as the deadline approaches.

The measures also would have to pass the Nevada Senate before heading to the governor.

The Assembly passed legislation that would create a criminal penalty for a person who negligently stores their firearm in a place where a child could access it.

The legislation would make the offense a misdemeanor.

Assembly members also approved legislation that seeks to streamline the sealing of low-level marijuana convictions.

Assemblyman William McCurdy II, a Democrat, is a sponsor of the legislation and has told lawmakers it would help people with such convictions gain employment and remove the stigma of a criminal past.

In a largely party-line vote, lawmakers in the Assembly also passed an omnibus gun bill that seeks to ban bump stocks and allow counties to pass stricter firearm laws than those imposed by the state.

The bill is sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, who escaped a 2017 Las Vegas music festival in which a gunman used bump stocks to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The Democrat has previously recalled her experience at the shooting to advocate for the bill.

"I would urge you, for the 58 people who lost their lives on Oct. 1, 2017, to support Assembly Bill 291," she said.

Assemblyman Tom Roberts voted against the measure. The Republican followed Jauregui's comments and said he is in support of the bump stock ban. But he spoke against giving counties the power to create more stringent firearm laws and says it would create a patchwork of laws.

"It's not something I believe that we should be giving up to the county commissions, when we have such a large and diverse state with huge differences of opinion on this issue," he said.

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