A trio of bills backed by Democrats and anti-gun activists’ groups was scuttled by Nevada's new governor this week. 

Former Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, now the state's first Republican governor since popular term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval left office in 2019, issued his first vetoes since taking office. Sent back to the state legislature were Assembly Bills 354 and 355, along with Senate Bill 171

"Today, I vetoed SB 171, AB 354, and AB 355," said Lombardo in a statement on Wednesday. "I will not support legislation that infringes on the constitutional rights of Nevadans."

  • AB 354 would have banned possessing firearms within 100 feet of polling places as well as redefined what constitutes firearm frames and receivers under state law. 
  • AB 355 would have stripped the Second Amendment rights of adults between the age of 18 and 20 years old by prohibiting them from possessing semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. It also aimed to establish a mandatory gun lock law. 
  • SB 171 would have expanded the state’s prohibited person categories for certain misdemeanor crimes, going well past federal law with respect to who is banned from legally possessing firearms. 

The bills, Lombardo told lawmakers, were "in direct conflict with legal precedent and established constitutional protections. Therefore, I cannot support them." 

 

Related: Gun State Success-- Nevada is the Total Package

 

Nevada is home to several gun companies including Franklin Armory and its Bushmaster subsidiary, Armscor, Arsenal, Legacy Sports, and Polymer 80. Meeting with Nevada-based gun industries – which pump an estimated $517 million into the state's economy every year and account for an estimated 3,200 jobs – Lombardo attended SHOT Show this year and spoke at the event's Governor's Forum. 
 

Governor Lombardo at SHOT Show
“I obviously support the industry and the fact that I’m even sitting here today is a testament to that. I want the industry … to know that I have no intentions of being oppressive or onerous … I will support you [SHOT Show] 100 percent,” said Gov. Lombardo. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)


"Governor Lombardo delivered on his promise to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights," Mark Oliva, public affairs director with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Guns.com Wednesday. "It is fitting that Governor Lombardo vetoed these flawed bills during National Police Week. As a former law enforcement officer, Governor Lombardo understands that misguided and flawed gun control legislation that doesn’t focus on criminals but only focuses on chipping away the rights of those who obey the law doesn’t address the need to make Nevada’s communities safer. 

NSSF applauds Governor Lombardo for standing up against special interest gun control and protecting the rights of his fellow citizens. The Nevada legislature would better serve its constituents by empowering law enforcement to lock up criminals instead of advancing a radical agenda that does nothing to improve the safety of Nevadans."

The measures had passed the state's Democrat-controlled legislature, largely along party lines, with votes tallying 26/27/28-14 in the House and 12/13-8 in the Senate. They were broadly endorsed by a variety of national gun control organizations. Everytown, in a statement issued following Lombardo's vetoes, said, "We won’t back down from this fight and we will continue to work with our gun sense champions in the legislature until we eradicate gun violence in Nevada."

Banner image: On the range with James River Armory at SHOT Show in Boulder City, Nevada. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

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