CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate approved a bill Tuesday prohibiting guns in public libraries unless written permission is given by the governing board.
Senate Bill 115 sponsored by Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, passed the upper chamber on a partisan 12-9 vote.
The bill adds libraries to an existing law that prohibits firearms on public school grounds, child care facilities and the campuses of the Nevada System of Higher Education without consent. The prohibition extends to parking areas that are part of such establishments.
Denis said his intent is to allow library boards to set policies regarding carrying weapons on the property.
Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said the measure erodes Second Amendment rights and makes criminals out of people who briefly enter library property while armed.
“We should not do this,” Roberson said. “This is a marked departure from decades of law in this state.”
During an earlier hearing, National Rifle Association lobbyist Daniel Reid said the provision that applies to parking lots would prevent something as simple as someone using a drop box outside a library while legally having a firearm in the vehicle.
Gayle Hornaday, acting executive director of Henderson libraries, testified in support of the bill in February.
“When a person with a holstered weapon has occasionally been seen in the library, it has caused a disturbance because people immediately perceived the potential for a dangerous conflict or an accident,” she told a Senate committee.
The bill now goes the Assembly for consideration.
A separate measure introduced this session, Senate Bill 102, would allow firearms in locked vehicles parked on school, university and child care property. It has not yet come up for a hearing.
Contact Sandra Chereb at email@example.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.