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Bill would prohibit guns from some with domestic violence, stalking convictions

Updated May 30, 2017 - 7:04 pm

CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers want to keep guns away from people who have been issued a domestic violence restraining order.

Senate Bill 124 would prohibit a person convicted of domestic violence battery and issued a restraining order to possess a firearm. The penalty would be upgraded from a gross misdemeanor to a felony.

Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, said the purpose of the law is to “provide additional safety and protection for those who are vulnerable to homicide.”

“I believe we have a moral obligation to make sure we are all doing all within our power” to address this, Spearman told the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The bill also applies to stalking convictions involving victims who had an “ongoing, reasonable fear of physical harm.”

The class B felony charge carries a prison sentence of one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

The measure had wide support from a variety of organizations, including the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Metropolitan Police Department and Clark County District Attorney’s Office.

John Saludes, co-chair of the Nevada Gun Safety Coalition, called the bill a “common-sense approach to prevent gun violence and save lives.”

The Clark County Public Defender’s Office had “limited opposition” to the bill. John Piro of the public defender’s office noted that 62 percent of state prisons are category B felony offenders, and questioned the need for that classification.

The Nevada Firearms Coalition and National Rifle Association were both neutral on the bill.

The committee did not take action Tuesday on the bill, which has passed the Senate with a 19-2 vote.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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