Southern Nevadans No Longer Required to Register Handguns

Gun Registration MapNevada Governor Brian Sandoval has just signed into law a pair of bills that overturn the previous requirement in Clark County to register handguns with the police. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, is located in the Southern-most region of Nevada and comprises nearly 75% of the population of the entire state. Prior to the passage of those bills, Clark County was the only area within Nevada with such a stipulation.

While Nevada prohibits counties or local governments from passing gun laws more restrictive than state laws, Clark County had been given an exemption in the past with regard to the registration of handguns. Up until now, anyone buying a handgun (or moving from another state/county) had up to 60 days to apply for a “blue card.” In addition, the three day waiting period and restrictions on open carrying within local parks have also been overturned by these bills, although gun bans in some public buildings remain. That currently includes schools, colleges, or universities, although an active bill, dubbed the “Campus Carry Bill” (Assembly Bill 487), would enable open carry (and concealed carry, with a CCW permit) on college campuses.

Via the “Nevada Carry” Blog:

The Details

Here is a summary of what the new language of the state preemption statues say in detail:

  • Only the legislature can make laws regarding transfers, sales, purchases, possession, carrying, owning, transporting, selling, registering and licensing, firearm accessories and ammunition.
  • All local laws, regulations, rules or ordinances on guns, except for unsafe discharge of firearms, are null and void. This means they are unenforceable as if they didn’t exist.
  • Any actions taken to enforce the preempted local laws (arrest, detention, citation) are null and void.
  • Clark County’s previous exemption for handgun registration is eliminated.
  • All local ordinances or regulations must be repealed and signs contrary to state law taken downLas Vegas
  • Metro PD must destroy all handgun registration records (one year to comply).

Read the full text of Nevada Senate Bills 175 and 240 by following the links.



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Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada CopBlock, Editor/contributor at and designed the Official CopBlock Press Passes.
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  • t


    Remember….you’re asking for it…don’t bitch at the outcome.

  • Shawn

    Police State t, showing his stupidity and distrust of the citizenry. Gun registration is one of the most obvious areas of potential abuse of mass data collection by the government.

    As for outcome? Freedom isn’t free. And letting your kind do anything you want still won’t give real protection. All it does is make you an additional threat. Gun control has already been a proven failure.

    You sound like a liberal control freak. “Give us just one more law, one more control, and we’ll have Nirvana.”
    Laws, yes. But the ridiculous control you want only serves you.

  • mobooz

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Will gun violence increase? Will it decrease? Will it stay the same? Will certain kinds of gun violence increase, while others decrease? Every argument one way or the other sounds like it came from a Magic 8-Ball. It’s a compelling experiment, but I’m definitely glad I don’t live there.

  • t

    Sham wow!!!
    You couldn’t be any further of on most of that.

    But let’s examine your…thinking.
    Baltimore MD: 116 murders…43 just in May.
    Chicago: 161 murders…47 just in May.
    NYC: 123 murders…8 in May.

    Every 64 days there’s a mass shooting event

    I’ve been a cop for nearly 20 years. I’ve met a lot of great people. But I’ve also seen what people do to each other.

    I’ve stated many times and still do…I am very much in favor of a responsibly armed public. I love CCW permits holders…that carry.

    But with that eighth and awesome responsibly …comes some simple responsibility.

    I heard that somewhere they are repealing permits to buy guns. Wow. Enjoy how that crapmsandwich is gonna taste.

    Responsible ownership isn’t open carrying an AK so that you can intimidate everyone. It isn’t jumping up and down with signs during protests.

    It’s so funny that your “big brother” thoughts and ideas….never have any out comes. Of of this “they’re coming for our guns” crap…hasn’t ever happened.

    But a simple thing like being able to know who owns a gun revered at a crime scene…or even just found somewhere…isn’t a bad thing. It protects everyone.

    But hey…just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you right?

  • Shawn

    And what are NYC And Chicago’s attitudes toward gun ownership?

    As for not after guns? Bull. Your kind has made it very clear. Hostility to guns by the government is very high. Remember that ATF emails caught them talking about using Fast and Furious to press for more laws, after they abused them. It isn’t for lack of ambition that gun confiscation has failed.

    You just can tolerate a world where every toilet flush isn’t under government control. Your control. You are a control freak through and through. Your position is about personal power and ego, not people.

  • Shawn

    “But with that eighth and awesome responsibly …comes some simple responsibility.”

    Oh, and so says a member of an organization that needs special protection from criminal prosecution and civil liability.
    For someone so concerned about responsibility, you show no sense of it for yourselves.

    And how does licensing and government permission equal responsibility?

  • Keith Baranzini

    That firearm registration map is completely inaccurate.

  • Keith Baranzini

    Why would violence increase with citizens having firearms? You must be new to life.

  • Keith Baranzini

    Oh, I see, another dipshit “good” cop thinking only LEO’s are responsible with guns. What a joke!!! 99% of officers are incompetent, you’re proving it right now.

  • SineNomine

    I regret that I have only one upvote to give you.

  • t

    My kind doesn’t want your guns. I want you to have your guns. I just want you to have them legally and responsibly.
    Same kinda goes with immigration. I’m not against immigration….I’m against illegal immigration.
    The pouring in of illegals…who nobody can identify….puts everyone at great risk
    The pouring in of guns that no ne can identified….puts everyone at great risk.

    You missed the point of the numbers. (Not shocking)
    Never being able to ID who the guns belong to…much harder to find said criminal….and you are defending….heck…demanding that.

    I know…I know. You and the other CBers are so super smooth gunslingers and no one could ever get you before you get them. I know….I know. Your having that gun is somehow going to send those bad guys running away. I know….I know.

    Reasonableness has never been in your wheelhouse….and it still eludes your grasp.

  • t

    No one has said any such nonsense. And it’s nonsense….because it has nothing to do with the topic at all.

    KB=topic fail

  • JC

    You still have to wait 7 days to purchase a handgun. Felons still cannot have handguns or any firearms.

  • RadicalDude


  • RadicalDude

    How do you know anyone owns anything without referring to your scriptural articles of religious faith?

  • RadicalDude

    t is a huge liberal control freak. You just noticed? Mainstream “Conservative” these days means someone who is on the conservative side of liberalism.

  • Shawn

    T, with your love of controlling laws. Look up this concept. Unintended consequences. Do you not understand why people don’t trust government’s need to know everything? Look at their surveillance efforts pissing all over the Constitution. Look at their talking about using Fast and Furious to further gun laws.
    The people you trust have no integrity. Give them an inch, and they will misuse it by a mile.

    “My kind doesn’t want your guns. I want you to have your guns. I just want you to have them legally and responsibly.”
    First, it is done legally, so your concern there is handled. As for responsibly? Government permission has ZERO to do with responsibility. You guys can’t even responsibly handle your own weapons. Accidental discharges because a cop can’t remember to keep his finger off the trigger. Leaving guns lying around, on and on. And of course never held to professional standard for handling a gun. You worry about that, before spouting off about others.

    When you guys can’t be trusted with a gun, why should we listen to you when you want to criticize us?

    As for IDing who the gun belongs to? Did you not catch those articles where they were openly telling people who had guns registered? How about how cops use just the mere possession of a gun to justify SWAT raids on people who never once threatened anyone, and the cops often were wrong about the crime.
    There are legitimate reasons to ID the gun owner, and illegitimate reasons like intimidation.

    As for your reasonableness nonsense, your idea of reasonable is for the whole country to shut up and just do what you want, because you think you’re so damned smart God is sitting in your chair. News flash, there is a difference between smart and arrogant.

  • Yankeefan

    Not relevant to the discussion, bitch!

  • Yankeefan

    I don’t disagree to a degree with you but this will be decided by the people. If things go to hell, oh well. People get what they want.

    Let’s also add that these shootings are done by criminals, not law abiding citizens. With guns that are illegal. Or illegally obtained.

  • Joseph Murray

    USA: Lots of guns= lots of shootings
    Countries with not a lot of guns= not a lot of shootings
    Seems straightforward to me…

  • weThePolice

    Of course guns need to be registered. How else do you stop criminals from obtaining guns?

  • mobooz

    We’ve got a psychic in the bunch. What’s going to happen to gun violence in Vegas over the next five years?

  • t

    That was my point exactly. The people wanted it….don’t bitch if you don’t like the taste.

    As for the criminals….I’ve been trying to explain that to Shawn but he doesn’t get it. He’s to busy with his Chicken Little routine about the government coming for his guns. Funny….fear monger shaving been selling that line for centuries now…..and it still hasn’t ever happened.

  • t

    If….you don’t or haven’t behaved RESPONSIBLY in your life…you won’t be able to pass the simple background checks involved. And…that’s a GOOD THING.

    Do you feel that brain cramp?

  • blah

    you forgot to mention they have more stabbings. a death by any object is a death. You also have to look at percentages and not flat numbers.

  • blah

    Just because it hasn’t happened here doesn’t mean it can’t happen here and doesn’t mean it hasn’t already happened elsewhere. Saying it can’t happen here would show you believe we are better than the rest of the world which is merely a superiority complex fueled by your blinding faith in the U.S. Gov’t. Also, yes there are laws that can seem well intended but that has no bearing on the fact that these same laws could be used for much worse if guided by the wrong hands. You have to remember the gov’t is a revolving door of people, groups, ideas, etc. in power. You have to be objective and look at the possibilities of both the positive and the negative outcomes to come of the control you change by law. Also on a side note, the “Big Brother” thoughts and ideas do very much come true, they are just more intricate and better sold to the public than the brute force ways of the past.

    * In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. This doesn’t include the 30 million ‘Uncle Joe’ starved to death in the Ukraine.
    * In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    * Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, leaving a populace unable to defend itself against the Gestapo and SS. Hundreds of thousands died as a result.
    * China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    * Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    * Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. The total dead are said to be 2-3 million
    * Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, 1-2 million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    * Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million at a bare minimum.
    * Gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results: Australia-wide, homicides went up 3.2 percent Australia-wide, assaults went up 8.6 percent Australia-wide, armed robberies went up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent) In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns.

  • Yankeefan

    I don’t believe govt is coming for guns. That issue has been decided. Take a look at the climate on guns. More OC. People like their guns.,

  • mobooz

    You also have to look at the method. Knives require that you be in arm’s reach, firearms can kill from hundreds of yards away, so there’s a priori evidence that guns are more dangerous than knives.

  • mobooz

    Murder rates always go up in warm weather. Given how cold it’s been all winter, a lot of the May murders were probably brewing (lagering?) for a while. No reason for cops to be jumpy, it’s just science.

  • Shawn

    Except that knives and such often require a skill and ruthlessness most good people don’t possess. The kind of people who choose armed crime are usually just plain more mean than your mother is. And physical characteristics still come into play. Sam Colt made my grandmother the equal of and teen thug. Her bullet is just as deadly as his.
    Guns are not nearly so much a gift to criminals, as they are to honest people. It gives the honest person at least an equal footing.

  • Shawn

    And they can do background checks without keeping records of the person or the gun. Data mining is not necessary for a background check.

  • Shawn

    Because people were watching for it, dumbass. For centuries? Ya, Look up the Battle of Concorde and why it happened. The English understood the best way to stop rebellion was to seize the means of rebellion.
    Now we have actions like Fast and Furious. I note you’ve ignored that one, where they DELIBERATELY discussed using it to further their anti-gun agenda. But you go ahead and trust the government’s intentions. You know, the same people who sold America on Obama Care, among other lemons.

  • Shawn

    ATF tried using Fast and Furious to attack gun ownership. Numerous politicians have made their anti-gun bias plain as day. As for the courts? A joke. All of them are political animals now, even going to the extent of using foreign law to make their decisions.
    The political party who controls the Supreme Court controls its rulings now. That decision has not been ‘decided’ nearly as final as you might think. A court ruling can be overturned by a later court.

  • lettruefreedomring

    Unless the felon is buying a $50 gun from a guy in a alley. Felons own guns. Unless you put an officer with every felon in the country. There going to continue to own guns. Victimless crimes making someone a felon is backasswords. People serve there time/pay there fine but are still kept from there god given and constitutional right.

    This country’s founding fathers are turning over in there graves at what this country and its people have become. Don’t even get me started on the rest of the world.

    Smart people looked into the past and were thoughtful about the future when they created our Constitution. Dumb people trying to be smart have been working for a long time to take control of it and create there own(I.e. NWO)

    Look on YouTube to see people making there own legal and unregistered firearms. From actual machinists to 18yo kids in there parents garage with plumbing pipes. They can and will never control us unless full on WW3 happens. But then there’s still mannnnnnnnnnnny guns behind every blade of grass.

    We that still understand life, liberty, and freedom will stand when the time comes. There is no force on this planet or galaxy that can handle us.

  • mobooz

    Not really. If both criminals and “honest people” (I’ve never met a genuinely honest person in my life, I think you’re just projecting your ego) have guns, and criminals are actively looking to do harm while everyone else just wants to protect themselves, then criminals get the drop on on the normos way more often.

  • RadicalDude

    What people wanted it? The people in your head?

  • RadicalDude

    Yes literally anyone can build a gun in a few hours out of stuff you can buy at any home depot yet you are going to be able to stop criminals from obtaining them by mandating they register them before using them in a crime.

  • t

    Please tell that you understand why I say thanCBer are bi-polar schizophrenics.

    Look at this little sub- thread…and think of some others.

    @Shawn pointed out something that I’ve talked about in this site since I started commenting here:
    SCOTUS is at most 2 and maybe only 1 vote away from changing all of you gun “rights”.
    We’ve gone round and round about it…the 2nd says what it says pretty clearly. And what you (and frankly I) see as the right to have guns…a more progressive liberal SCOTUS could easily say isn’t true….because those founding father that everyone always said are so brilliant…screwed that amemwndment up really badly.

    But it should be a more locally controlled issue…like the Constitutuoon wanted.
    Other than financial issues…not much Federal law really effects most people. State, County and local
    Laws do. And that is how it should be.
    Like if say the “free staters” all move to New Hampshire and can actually organize…and they politically get vote into officer in a town where they legalize all
    Drugs and alcohol regardless of age, and disband the PD. And outlaw taxes. Great. Awesome. Have fun with that when all of the producers of things move away from the stoners and leave the town to collapse.
    But that’s their right.

    And it’s like this story. If that’s what the residents wants…great. Hope it tastes good.

  • Nevadan

    In most states, there is absolutely no waiting period to buy a handgun. There is also no gun registration in most states.

    With this change in NV law, all that it does is cause one county of the state (Clark) to have the same laws regarding gun possession as the rest of the state. Up until this change, Clark county was the only county in NV to have a handgun registry, and the only county that was imposing a waiting period for handgun purchases.

  • weThePolice

    If you want to construct a rinky dink pipe gun from Home Depot, go ahead. You will need to give it serial markings as well. If you don’t register it, then you’ll be identified as a criminal and be bared from owning legitimate, registered weaponry. You also will probably go to prison, so in the end they’ll get your Home Depot gun anyway. And this doesn’t even get inot where you will get the ammo to shoot through the Home Depot gun.

    If you do maek a Home Depot gun, you should bring it to the gun range to test fire it. If it doesn’t blow up in your face, then the range master will inform police that someone is using an unregistered weapon on the range.

    Better just to cooperate with your leaders and let them know the kind of guns you have. This is for your safety and welbeing. Why else would they want to know the type of guns you have?

  • Nevadan

    You need to learn your laws a bit better. In most states in this country, there is no “registration” of guns. I know for a fact that in most states, you can legally build an AR15 style rifle from parts available on the internet. You can buy what is commonly called an “80% lower receiver”, which is normally the part of the gun that is serialized, but since it isn’t finished it isn’t considered a gun. You can legally finish machining it yourself in your garage, mark it with any serial number you want, and you don’t ever have to “register” it in any way.

  • Nevadan

    What is incorrect on the map?

  • weThePolice

    We’ll get around to it in time. Registration coming to a town near you

  • Nevadan

    Thankfully, registration just LEFT a town near me. You can keep your nanny-state laws if you want them, but we didn’t need it or like it here. That’s the point of this article. We had a registry, but it cost a lot and didn’t do anything to help solve cases or prevent crime, so we got rid of it.

  • weThePolice

    Maybe a federal registry then, to keep society safe

  • Nevadan

    Thankfully, that doesn’t exist either.

  • JC

    In all 50 states, you cannot buy a handgun without a 7 day waiting period. Have you ever heard of the Brady bill? Again, look it up. All 50 states have a 7 day waiting period to buy handguns.

  • JC

    Why don’t you sit on a finger until a knuckle pops.

  • Nevadan

    Wow. You are clueless. There is absolutely no federal waiting period to buy a handgun, and most states have no waiting period of any duration. The Federally mandated 5 day waiting period that was part of the Brady bill was removed in 1998 when the NICS background check system was implemented. Get your facts straight before you tell someone else to “look it up.”

  • weThePolice

    You obviously have no desire to keep society safe

  • JC
  • Nevadan

    Nowhere in your linked article does it say that all 50 states have a 7 day waiting period. You are just plain wrong on that one. In fact, your linked article lists many states that require nothing more than the form 4473 and the NICS check (the I stands for INSTANT, by the way). In those states, you can walk into a gun store, fill out the form, and pay them for the gun. Then they take your paperwork and either call it in to the state PoC or the FBI (depending on the state) or enter it into the computer. If you come back clear through NICS, then you walk out with your new handgun minutes later — not after 7 days.

  • Yankeefan

    Why don’t you give your daddy a blow job and tell me how your brother tastes. You used that line under slappy bitch. Try again loser!

  • Shawn

    You’re a control freak just like t. Like him, you can’t stand a world that doesn’t meet your personal views.

  • Shawn

    Define safe? What level of protection qualifies as ‘safe’? And safe from what? Have you ever looked at the history of misuse of registries? It is pointed out here in this comment section on how nations have misused registries.

    And while you worry about safe, how about this quote.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin. Given the source, you don’t consider this little wisdom something to pay attention to.

    I’ll add my own. “You will have neither liberty or safety.” Government can not guarantee safety. To even try usually works out to the government becoming the biggest threat in their zeal for any potential threat to government.

  • Keith Baranzini

    Sorry, I don’t follow. You’re circling back all over yourself. Good day, piggy.

  • Difdi

    Well, given that it’s illegal for most criminals to even possess a gun whether it’s registered or not, and we don’t call them criminals due to their profound obedience to the law, why do you think the fact that unregistered guns were illegal would stop them from having them?

  • Difdi

    And shortly thereafter, a free speech license. After all, since both rights have equal protection in the constitution, if one can be limited to those with a license and/or registration, both can be.

  • Difdi

    More people have been killed by governments that restrict gun ownership than have been killed by people exercising the individual right to be armed.

  • Difdi

    There was a study a few years back that went around to various prisons and asked inmates how they got the gun they used in their crimes.

    Of those interviewed, 78% got theirs on the same black markets they got their drugs from, and would be unaffected by any background checks or registration.

    About 20% bought their guns legally before committing any disqualifying crimes (or at least getting caught) and passed a NICS check.

    Only 2% got their guns through buying them from another citizen in a direct transaction — what is known as the ‘gun show loophole’ among the anti-gun nuts. It works a lot like the ‘used book store loophole’ does.

    As for making guns, I saw a video clip once of this old guy who lives in Afghanistan. Using only a portable gas-fired forge the size of a bowling ball and hand tools (no power tools at all) he can make one fully automatic AK-47 per day and 100 rounds of ammunition for it. He’d probably sell his left nut for access to the sort of tools in the typical American home workshop. If he can do it in primitive conditions, it would not be hard to do in those garage workshops at all.

  • Nevadan

    Regarding the subject of gun registration, you might find this interesting (or possibly completely useless):

    Haynes v. US (1968) – Supreme Court

    A felon, who would be prohibited from possessing a firearm, can not be convicted of the crime of failure to register a gun when required, or of possessing an unregistered firearm. They can be convicted of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, but the gun registration laws can not be applied to them. Why? Because it would violate their 5th amendment rights against self incrimination. In order to comply with the law requiring registration, they would have to incriminate themselves and admit that they are in violation of the prohibition against them possessing a firearm.

    This means that the NFA laws that require otherwise law-abiding citizens to pay for a tax stamp for certain firearms (fullyauto, short barreled rifles, short barrel shotguns, and others) and any state laws requiring registration, can not be used against people who are prohibited from possessing a firearm in general. Such laws can only be used against those who could legally comply with them and who choose not to do so. So the intended target of these laws (known criminals) can not be punished for violating them.

  • Difdi

    THAT is absolutely hilarious. Talk about unintended consequences!

    In their zeal to make it harder for felons to get guns, they actually managed to exempt felons from having to obey the law!

  • Difdi

    Generally, violent crime will drop and the anti-gun nuts will be at a complete loss as to why.

    People like that always make gory predictions and toss around terms like “Wild West” and “blood running in the streets” but somehow, every time laws are changed to make it easier for good citizens to own guns, none of that happens. What does happen is the opposite — society gets safer.

    The prevailing theory among the pro-human rights crowd is that the anti-gun nuts are projecting. They know what they themselves would do if they had free access to guns — Wild West showdowns, gunning people down in fits of road rage, shooting anyone who annoys them, etc — and they assume that that is normal human behavior. They consider themselves normal, after all. So because they are normal and bloody murder at the slightest excuse is normal, they must prohibit access to weapons for the good of everyone. The problem is that normal people don’t do that, and hundreds of thousands of people carry guns every day — without making the gutters run red with the blood of the innocent.

    If good citizens with guns were as lethally dangerous a threat as the anti-gun nuts believe, we’d see mass shootouts every night on the evening news all over the country — and it never happens outside of street gangs. Anti-gun nuts who accost people who are open carrying would be gunned down on the spot — and yet every single one of them who did something like that is still alive. They don’t want to believe they are bad people, and yet the evidence shows that those they revile generally are better (at least at self control and civility) than they are.

  • Difdi

    No need to be psychic. We just need to look at other places in the country that have done similar things.

    But first, we need to analyze terminology. Gun violence is a weasel term. Both a mugger robbing someone at gunpoint and a woman fighting off a rapist with a gun are gun violence. So is a police officer shooting a violent felon in self defense. So is a police officer committing excessive force and executing a handcuffed suspect. Some gun violence is bad, some is good. But the way the anti-gun nuts use the term, they imply that all gun violence is bad.

    What we need to look at is good/lawful uses versus bad/unlawful ones. I predict, based on what happened elsewhere, that bad/unlawful uses will drop, while good/lawful uses will rise, as has happened almost 100% of the time elsewhere in the country when laws were changed to make it easier for good citizens to be armed.

    Violent crime by non-police will drop, excessive force by police will be unaffected, and lawful use of force to prevent violent crimes will rise.

  • Difdi

    The UK is a good example of what you’re saying. Unfortunately, it supports Shawn more than you.

    They banned guns for pretty much the reasons you present. Almost immediately after, they had a huge increase in sword and knife attacks. So they banned swords. Now they’re thinking about banning knives, including kitchen knives. Odds are, if they do, there will be a huge upsurge in murders using cricket bats.

    The EU rates the UK as the most dangerous country to visit in Western Europe, and it is very high on the list of dangerous countries overall. Why? Because while the odds of being shot to death there are very low, guns don’t make you more dead than being stabbed or bludgeoned to death and the crime rate is sky high.

    What guns do is level the battlefield. With any other weapon besides guns or bombs, the larger and stronger combatant has an ENORMOUS (pardon the pun) advantage over smaller and weaker combatants. That’s why Goliath (of Biblical fame) was so feared — his massive size gave him an unbeatable advantage over the average soldier. With a knife, club, sword or bare hands, most men will overpower most women most of the time — it’s simply a matter of physiology, men are usually stronger. With a gun, the smaller combatant is never any worse off than the larger combatant’s equal.

    Sure, you can get attacked by surprise and not be able to use your gun. You can also be attacked by surprise and not be able to use your knife, sword, club, chemical spray, electroshock weapon or bare hands. But that has always been true, since our ancestors made their first tools. It has never been considered a valid reason to go unarmed, since what if you are not surprised? Being unarmed means you have fewer options, nothing more and nothing less. An armed person can fit barehanded, runnaway, scream for help, or use their weapon. An unarmed person has one fewer option available, making them less safe in an emergency.

  • Difdi

    A good example of unintended comsequences are child pornography laws.

    I can pretty reliably say we’d all agree that sexually abusing children is a bad thing, and the government’s definition of child porn, ‘documenting the abuse of a child’ is also pretty spot on.

    Child abusers should be thrown into a deep dark hole populated by violent people who really hate them. Aside from the fact US prisons tend to be well-lit, that’s exactly what child pornography laws do to such abusers.

    But there are also unintended consequences. Anyone who creates, distrubutes or merely possesses child pornography gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law via mandatory charges and mandatory sentencing. But there are three big problems with these laws intended to protect children.

    First, there is no juvenile category, and second, the laws are strict liability.

    Working together, the first two problems create the third problem: a child who snaps a naked selfie for her boyfriend gets to spend 10-20 years in a prison with sexual predators, and the court system has very little discretion in how they can avoid doing so, thanks to those mandatory charging and sentencing laws.

    What we’re all afraid of on the pro-rights side is that when the government meddles beyond the limits set upon it by the Constitution, it tends to screw things up. The idea of it meddling in unalienable rights is horrifying.

  • Difdi

    We’re never more than 5 Supreme Court votes away from losing every right we ever had. All it would take is a stroke or two among the older members and new appointees could be profoundly anti-rights.

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