Nevada Passes Concealed Carry Reform

Nevada Passes Concealed Carry Reform
Nevada Passes Concealed Carry Reform

By an overwhelming majority vote in the State Legislature, the State of Nevada passed AB282, Concealed Carry reform which allows permit holders to carry any semiautomatic handgun of their choice after qualifying with one, protects the privacy of permit holders, eliminates the “background check and fee” when purchasing a new firearm and keeps the cost of a permit renewal down to $25.  This bill will become law on July 1, 2011 if signed by Governor Sandoval.

Nevada is a great place to live for Firearms Enthusiasts.  The state allows for “open carry” of a firearm by non-prohibited types, concealed carry with a permit, is a treasure trove of wild game for hunters, and friendly to NFA (machinegun) Collectors.

Nevada’s concealed weapon permit system has had its ups and downs.  When first enacted, State-law mandated that an applicant had to qualify with each and every firearm they intended to carry.  Simply put, if an applicant had 4 revolvers and 3 semi-auto pistols that they intended to carry, each one had to be fired as part of the qualification.  This was streamlined somewhat a few years ago when the Legislature conceded that all revolvers worked the same and qualifying with one meant that a licensee could carry any revolver or derringer.  Semiautomatic pistols were left out of the equation due to a particular Legislator who did not like the thought of his citizens able to bear arms.  What that meant was if a licensee owned two outwardly identical pistols such as a Colt 1911 and a Springfield armory 1911, or a Glock 19 and a Glock 23, and wanted the option to carry then, it meant shooting an identical gun again at the cost of close to $20 a box of ammunition.

Another quirk in the permit system involved the background check for buying firearms. CCW holders are exempt from the background check in most states and at one time were exempt in Nevada. That is, until the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbaco, Firearms, and Explosives) found “irregularities in the background check process of certain rural police departments. Having been vetted, photographed, and fingerprinted; Nevada CCW holders were still forced to pay $25 for a redundant background check every time they purchased a firearm.

Today the Nevada Legislature passed John Oceguera’s AB 282, a concealed carry bill with an amendment limiting the fees to those necessary to obtain the reports required for a permit. The bill was amended by Senator Halseth to include all Republican Senators as co-sponsors. The language of the bill should satisfy the folks at BATFE with regards to the background check and most importantly for some permit holders, eliminates the qualification of every semi-auto firearm they may wish to carry. Simply put, a licensee can now qualify with any revolver or any semiautomatic pistol of their choosing and be allowed to carry any revolver, semiauto, or derringer.

Further language in the bill allows for concealed carry in State Parks and should ensure the confidentiality of permit holders against unscrupulous journalists from the wrong side of the tracks.

The bill is headed for Governor Brian Sandoval’s desk and when signed is set to become law on July 1, 2011.