Collectively, all 17 sheriffs of the Nevada counties have agreed upon, drawn up, and signed an open letter to their constituents proclaiming their resolve in supporting and defending the Second Amendment. While the letter doesn't specifically address SB143, everyone in the state knows that the prime controversy and furor over the first half of 2019 has been over the bill and this is an unprecedented move for the Nevada Sheriffs’ & Chiefs’ Association. Its meaning couldn't be more obvious.
The agreement was even signed by Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, the chief law enforcement officer for Las Vegas Metropolitan region — a move surely shocking to the Democrat governor and her ilk in the legislature, who excitedly pushed through their pet unconstitutional bill, despite the popular outcry against it this spring. HB 143 goes into effect on January 1st, 2020.
The bill outlaws all permanent transferrals of firearms except by immediate family members of the transferor and inheritances. In most cases, it only vaguely defines who is exempted from the law, leaving the door wide open for abuse. It also bans transferrals of firearms which could be of vital importance to those in imminent danger.
Let's take the case of a young woman living with her new boyfriend; her ex-boyfriend is both jealous and dangerous and has been stalking the poor girl. Her new boyfriend cannot be present all the time in the home due to work requirements, but he has told her where his firearm is and has instructed her on how to use it. Under SB 143, she would not legally be able to temporarily take his gun out to either show that she is prepared or to actually fire it in self-defense. Many other legitimate transferrals are also not exempted under the law.
This move effectively makes Nevada the first state to achieve full Second Amendment sanctuary status everywhere within its borders, at least against one particular set of new gun control laws.
Below is the full letter in its entirety.
Nevada Sheriffs' Letter to Constituents
"The United States Constitution is the foundation upon which this great country of ours is built. It is what binds us together as one people. The Sheriffs of the State of Nevada are Constitutional Officers, sworn to uphold the Constitutions of this state and this country.
In recent months, tragic events have occurred causing much discussion pertaining to firearms issues and the Second Amendment. Information is being distributed at a rapid pace; some factual, some controversial and some without merit. While firearms will certainly be discussed as part of any conversation dealing with these events, other issues such as mental health, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), illegal use of controlled substances, and criminal gang violence must be included as integral parts of these conversations.
We have all seen what persons who have mental illness, are users of illegal controlled substances or are members of criminal gangs can do with weapons in their hands; any weapons, not just firearms. As it currently stands, many of these individuals are not entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for a wide variety of reasons. This issue must be addressed at both the national, state and local levels. HIPAA must be amended to allow or even mandate reporting of the mentally ill by certain health care providers. Courts must ensure the entry of persons who have been adjudicated mentally ill or convicted of disqualifying crimes. Persons who have been validated as criminal gang members should be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. Local jurisdictions must make NICS entry a top priority. Information systems must be utilized to their utmost potential.
The Sheriffs of the State of Nevada do not believe that the answer to this issue includes making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens. As the old saying goes, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” The answer lies within a myriad of approaches including education, addressing violence, keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, criminal gang members and illegal controlled substance users, as well as prosecuting and incarcerating those who use firearms to commit crimes.
While there are certainly those who believe these rights under the Constitution are soon to be lost, we believe a systematic, logical approach to the issue is warranted and will work to preserve these rights. The Sheriffs of the State of Nevada are here to enforce the laws and uphold the Constitutions of this state and this country. We will do so with all persons, while still protecting our Second Amendment freedoms.
The Second Amendment is important to us, and we as Sheriffs will uphold all that it stands for. We will work within the law and not succumb to perceived threats, rumor, false or malicious information to weight our decision-making process. We as Nevada Sheriffs support The Right to Bear Arms, and we will do all within our power to uphold and defend its principles."
As always, GRW advises residents to check with local police or the Sheriff's Office before violating any gun control laws.