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Reader RH writes:

With Republicans sweeping both houses of the Nevada legislature and retaining the Governor and Lt. Governor seats in November’s election, the Las Vegas Review Journal opined “2015 could be year of the gun at Nevada Legislature.” And indeed it started out that way. A dozen or so pro-gun bills flooded the floor early on in the 2015 session including hot topic legislation such as constitutional carry, campus carry, and even a “pop tart” bill that would prohibit schools disciplining students for eating pastries into the shape of a gun. But an unconfirmed rumor is spreading around the Carson City capitol that most, if not all, of these gun bills may be in jeopardy due to a split in the GOP caucuses over tax policy. The “2015 year of the gun” may turn into the “2015 could’ve should’ve would’ve year of the gun.” . . .

The rumor first came to light publicly in an April 22nd blog post by Republican Assemblyman Pat Hickey entitled “Mount St. Michele.” Hickey describes a late night meeting between Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and Governor Brian Sandoval to discuss unknown issues and alleges that Fiore has been quietly signaling that she would drop opposition to the Governor’s tax and budget plans if he would in turn support her gun bills.

This is a startling allegation because not only has Michele Fiore been the Queen of Gun Rights in Nevada this legislative session, having sponsored at least 10 separate pro-gun bills, she’s also been viewed as the unofficial leader of a group of Republicans working to kill Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax increase for the next biennium budget. For a staunch conservative, a $1.1 billion increase in a Nevada-sized state is no easy pill to swallow. If 2013 Census records are to be believed, that’s an increase of approximately $550 per year per Nevadan household although most of the taxes are being pushed onto businesses.

On her weekly radio show, Walk The Talk with Michele Fiore, she denied that any such meeting took place with the Governor and reaffirmed her pledge not to raise taxes saying she would never try to barter gun legislation over taxes. For those who hold gun rights far more important than taxes, that could be bad news because Fiore’s not known to be wishy washy with what she says. She’s viewed as quite the firebrand willing to do and say exactly what’s on her mind. You may recall the national headlines and TTAG’s quote of the day where Fiore, talking about her campus carry bill to the New York Times said:

“If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”

So if Michele Fiore is claiming the quid pro quo trade of tax increases for gun rights bills wasn’t on the table, but Pat Hickey, the 2013 session Republican Minority Leader, says it was, who are we to believe and where did this rumor come from?

I talked with a staff member for a legislator in Carson City (who didn’t want to be identified since the rumor is unconfirmed) who shed a little light on it. Fiore is leading the fight against the Governor’s tax increase in the Nevada Assembly, but the Republican-controlled Nevada Senate has already approved the tax increases in a 17-4 vote.  That bill now goes to the Assembly for their consideration where tax bills must be approved by a 2/3s vote for passage. Fiore is fighting hard against it and she only needs 15 of 43 members to vote no to block it.

However, Fiore was a sponsor of seven pro-gun bills that have made it out of the Assembly and now need the more moderate Senate’s approval. The Nevada legislature only meets for four months, once every two years and they’re on strict schedules to get bills passed. If her gun bills aren’t heard and voted on in their respective Senate committees by May 15th and then voted on by the full Senate by May 21st, they’re dead.

But the Senate committees don’t even have to bring them up for a hearing. The rumor, unconfirmed as it is, is that unknown Republican Senators are putting pressure on other Republican Senators not to allow Fiore’s bills to be heard — and not to vote for them if they are — all in an attempt to persuade Fiore to drop her opposition to the tax bill the Senators and Governor are supporting.

Although this is just a rumor, it puts gun rights supporters in quite a quandary due to the strict and fast-approaching legislative deadlines. Normally it would be best practice to wait and see if the rumors are true or not before taking action, but in this case, if they are true, by the time it’s known for sure it could be too late to do anything about this. These bills need to be heard at least once and then voted on in their Senate committees by May 15th. As of this writing, none of the bills are scheduled for hearings in committee, despite having been waiting for nearly two weeks and with less than two weeks left before the deadline.

It’s not a smart move to wait for the Senate to schedule these things, because they already let SB143, Nevada’s constitutional carry bill, die in committee without a vote prior to the April 10th deadline for first house passage. No public comments have been made for why that bill was allowed to die.

If you’re a concerned gun rights advocate and a Nevadan, you may want to take some immediate action to contact specific Republicans in the Senate to make sure they schedule the bills for a hearing. Emails are easy for anybody to zip off in a hurry, and we also strongly encourage you to call. 

Again, the rumors are unconfirmed, so please be respectful when emailing and calling these Senators and assume the particular Senator you’re contacting has every intention of doing the right thing and bringing these bills up for a vote and/or supporting them. Emails can be sent any time, (in fact send them right now) and phone calls can be made during typical business hours. Phone calls take about 30 seconds, and you’ll most likely only be able talk to a secretary or aid. That’s fine, they take notes and pass your messages to the Senators. Just ask them to support the Assembly gun bills and work to have them brought up for a vote in Committee.

Have the bill numbers handy.

AB139, AB148, AB352, AB357, and AB404 are in the Senate Judiciary.

  • AB139 – Nevada recognizes reciprocity of ALL other states concealed carry permits
  • AB148 – The campus carry bill, allows people to leave a gun in their car when parked at schools, and allows licensed CCW holders to carry weapons on campus.
  • AB352 – Allows you to conceal carry in the same government buildings where open carry is already allowed anyway.
  • AB357 – Allows non-violent offenders a pathway to restore gun rights and other constitutional rights after a period of time and after meeting certain requirements proving they’re not likely to abuse those rights.
  • AB404 – Extends validity of expired CCW permits where the only reason it expired is the renewal application is still being reviewed. Also creates a shall sign provision by local law enforcement for NFA items such as silencers and short barrel rifles since the FBI is already doing an extensive background check on the applicant anyway.

The Senate Republicans to call and email on the Judiciary, in order of importance, are:

Senator Greg Brower – Judiciary Chair. He’s the one that schedules the hearings.
775-684-1419
Greg.Brower@sen.state.nv.us

Michael Roberson – Senate Majority Leader, Judiciary Member
702-612-6929
Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us

Becky Harris – Judiciary Co-Chair
702-324-0404
Becky.Harris@sen.state.nv.us

Scott Hammond – Senate Co-Majority Whip, Judiciary Member
702-523-9055
Scott.Hammond@sen.state.nv.us

Also, in the Senate Natural Resources committee is AB136, allowing bow and black powder hunters to also carry a pistol for personal protection while hunting. Please contact:

Don Gustavson – Natural Resources Committee Chair
775-722-1278
Don.Gustavson@sen.state.nv.us

And in the Senate Health and Human Services committee is AB167 which would remove limitations that keep CCW holders from being foster parents and discriminated against. Please contact:

Joe Hardy – Health and Human Services Committee Chair
702-293-7506
Joe.Hardy@sen.state.nv.us

Again, please be respectful, assume they’re good people wanting to vote on and support these bills, and please continue to follow-up with these senators until the bills are scheduled for a hearing. You can check the status on these bills and these committees daily here.

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47 Responses to Republican Tax Fight Threatens Nevada’s “Year of the Gun”

  1. These hot little girls on campus can carry guns, but aren’t allowed other womens’ rights.

  2. but but…. republicans are pro gun! Yeah, supposedly they are against taxes too but that isn’t stopping a whole state full of them from raising taxes and killing gun bills with what sounds like zero democrat opposition.

  3. Please recognize my Utah permit! I might actually come to your state more if I can defend myself.

  4. Gov. Sandoval is term limited. Otherwise, would he try to raise taxes? I doubt it. As for gun rights, Nevada is shall issue for CCW (no permit is required for OC) but requires eight hours of training and passing a shooting practical, which is not difficult. I have my Nevada license and enjoy carrying in Nevada and Arizona when I travel there.

    Permit recognition in Nevada is based on whether the requirements of the other state is “substantially similar to or more stringent” than Nevada’s. So far, only 14 states qualify for respect by Nevada. That’s pretty appalling for a state that is pro-gun and considered a Gold Star State for OC.

    • A term limited gov. who was trying to raise taxes, I would at least listen to. He is not buying votes, right?

      • Except this particular Governor is expected to run for Reid’s open US Senate seat in 2016. So he’s not exactly a lame duck not looking for political favor elsewhere.

  5. Why is a rumor being floated by one Republican vs another- to apparently undermine the conservative
    on lower taxes and common-sense pro-2A laws?

    With Dirty Harry in the US Senate- you would think the state Repubs would get their act together.
    Maybe the problem is in the Governor’s office.

  6. The problem in Nevada is that most of our Republican senators are RINOs. Sandoval probably has higher aspirations. Unfortunately, people like Senator Brower, despite having a ‘R’ next to their names, are statists who don’t trust the people with guns. They are committed more to politics than rolling back restrictions to gun rights. No surprise there. Sadly, in Nevada this bunch is the best chance we had and for stupid inside political reasons, they are killing the gun bills. We’d be lucky to get SB 175 through the assembly to kill off the Clark County (Vegas) handgun registration.

    Facing the universal background checks in 2016, it is sad to see everything we hoped for be flushed down the toilet. Politics are a miserable failure and America needs a re-set. Everything that RH said here is true.

    • What does one expect when our state is constantly being flooded by Dems fleeing Calif. and NE states, bringing their ‘It failed for us, but we can make it fail again here’ policies?

      The massively Dem Vegas (Clark County) area crushes the rest of the state in nearly all matters in voting. Unless something truly astonishing happens, we WILL be getting UBCs when it goes to the polls.

      I would love to see Hand Gun registration go the way of the dodo down here in Vegas. Sooooo very much.

      I vote, my friends vote, I’ve ‘converted’ several folks to PotG, but it does not help when every single neighbor around me is a Calif./NY/NJ lib transplant.

  7. Oh don’t forget that in Las Vegas ALL handguns must be registered with the city to simply own one. That includes going through their own background checks. Been in place since the 40’s or 50’s I think. Several bills this year attempted to address that but so far these useless idiots aka Republicants Re doing NOTHING.

  8. Thank Tesla for the tax increase. NV dropped trousers for the battery factory and local businesses are on the hook to cover the nut.

  9. Where would gun rights be if we didn’t have Republicans to stab us in the back?
    We wouldn’t be sitting here typing stuff about ‘gun rights’, we’d just be out shooting on a fine spring Sunday without a thought as to the possibility somebody would violate the 2A.

  10. Name a state that fares better with the democrats in charge as opposed to the gop? Any? I got a whole state capitol full of dems I’ll be happy to ship to NV or any place else that ain’t happy with their gop reps.

    I live in CA. Cry me a river about your rino repubs.

  11. Dan,

    A very powerful story. I live in Pennsylvania. I’ll email these guys and gals immediately.

    Thanks.

    JF

  12. And this is why I have been voting more libertarian these days, always was a huge GOP Supporter, now not so much.

  13. I just emailed my senator.

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this, though. We’ll probably get stuck with a crappy tax hike and none of the mentioned bills. Universal background checks are coming to the Nevada ballot, too.

    People around here left California for a reason, but they seem to have forgotten.

    • The Borg always remember their reason for being there. Our problem as POTG is we think of the individual. It’s hard for us to get into the collective hive mind and it costs us all to frequently.

  14. She looks ok to me. But, I am really really old, but still ambitious. The gap between socialist and republicans is narrowing. The “democratic party” no longer exists. People, the government is no longer yours. It is now based on personal agendas. Hillary has one, we have to elect her to know what it is. The republicans have an agenda, no idea what it is either. We elected a man twice to be president, the second time he declared himself to be an elected dictator. That trend will continue. The death of a nation began with Kennedy, and his death by Johnson, socialism has slowly gained ground. Education has been neutered to the lowest common denominator. God help you all.

  15. This is similar to what happened in Florida. The house sent gun bills to the Senate. The Senate wanted new taxes and wouldn’t allow the gun bills to be heard until the house got on board. The house didn’t want to play. So they took their ball home a week early and told the Senate to pound salt.

  16. Gotta love politicians. They’ll promise you anything for your vote. Once they get the job all promises are off!

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