Senate Passes ‘Ghost Gun’ Bill

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The legislature is passing more than 160 bills before the midnight deadline.

Friday night is the deadline for bills to pass the second house. One of those that made the cut is AB286. Democrats passed the bill on a 12-9 party line vote. The bill would ban homemade guns and other firearms that do not have serial numbers. Antiques, replicas and firearms without serial numbers that were made before 1969 are exempt. They are known as ghost guns because they are hard to trace. Supporters say there has been an increase in online sales of kit guns, allowing people to bypass background checks.

“I think we have all, as a society, agreed that no one should be able to own a gun without a background check and this bill makes us a bit closer to that ideal,” Sen. Dallas Harris, D-Las Vegas said.

People who own guns that do not have a serial number have until January 1 to surrender the weapon.

“In the absence of any significant evidence that these are actually being used in crimes, we should err on the side of caution,” Sen. Ira Hansen, R-Sparks said. “This is a Second Amendment issue that is an individual liberty.”

The senate has passed close to two dozen bills, as the deadline for second house passage approaches. Some of those include legislation about sex trafficking, diversity curriculum in education and marijuana. It passed AB254 by a unanimous, 21-0 vote. It prohibits Nevada’s colleges from prohibiting collegiate athletes from receiving compensation for their name, image or likeness.

Friday night is the deadline to pass bills out of the second house. The senate is scheduled to vote on about 70 bills and the assembly is set to vote on about 96 bills. 

“There’s some really good pieces of policy on here that we’ll probably have unanimous support,” Assem. Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno said. “There are probably some partisan bills and you’ll see that play out, and there’s some bills that might not ultimately make it either.”

Lawmakers expect a long night as they discuss and vote on bills. Amendments are still being made ahead of time.

“I think everyone’s got their particular bills that they’re interested in and there are certain legislators working bills to try to get amendments on that they think might die,” Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno said.

Bills that survive the deadline will head to Governor Steve Sisolak’s office for his signature. Others head back to the first house for a concurrent vote. Those happen when the second house makes an amendment to the bill. Others are exempt. Those will start being discussed as early as Saturday. One of them deals with rental assistance.

“Especially those parties that are caught up in evictions,” Benitez-Thompson said. “We’re still really concerned about making sure people stay housed and we know that eviction process is a hard one.”

“All of those ones that we’ve talked about, election bills, gun bills, some of those, the health care policy bills are still exempt, some of those,” Robin Titus, R-Smith Valley said.

Hearings for some of those bills will begin Saturday morning.

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