weather icon Clear

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval supports ban on bump stocks

Updated February 23, 2018 - 6:28 pm

WASHINGTON — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval applauded the president’s action to ban bump stock devices used in the Las Vegas mass shooting but he stopped short Friday of embracing a White House proposal to arm qualified teachers and school personnel.

“This is something that needs a lot more discussion. At first blush it concerns me,” Sandoval told reporters at the Canadian Embassy before addressing a National Governors Association meeting.

Sandoval, chairman of the NGA, met earlier with Vice President Mike Pence where the topic of school violence came up.

On arming school teachers, Sandoval said he was speaking as the father of a student who experienced an incident at a middle school in Reno and the father of a daughter studying to be a teacher.

“You’ve got to look and see what the other alternatives are. Perhaps we just need to secure the schools a little better,” the Nevada Republican said.

Trump’s proposal to arm qualified teachers and personnel comes after emotional sessions with survivors and parents shaken by the Parkland, Florida, school shooting Feb. 14 that killed 17 students and adults.

The president said allowing concealed weapons on adults in schools would deter future attacks without traumatizing children with armed guards and active shooter drills.

But the proposal has been met with mixed reaction.

Many parents in Florida recoiled at the suggestion to put more guns in schools, and Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, called the proposal the worst of many bad ideas to stop school shootings.

Sandoval said he would wait to see the details of any such proposal, but he credited Trump for starting a conversation on firearms.

“We need to do something,” Sandoval said. “The status quo is not acceptable.”

Pence told the governors that the Florida shooting was not an isolated incident.

“Sadly, it is only the latest in a series of mass shootings over the last year that have claimed innocent lives in Las Vegas and in Sutherland Springs, Texas,” Pence said.

The governors will meet with Trump at the White House on Monday. The White House said school safety would be the priority of the meeting.

Trump signed an executive directive earlier this week to streamline a review by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms into regulatory authority to ban bump stocks.

ATF has twice ruled it lacks the legal authority to ban the devices that accelerate the firepower of semi-automatic rifles to mimic that of automatic weapons.

Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, had 12 bump stocks on semi-automatic rifles used to fire into a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers on Oct. 1. The sniper attack killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others.

The massacre in Nevada prompted an outcry against the bump stock devices by elected officials. In Washington, Democrats filed bills seeking an outright ban on the sale of the stocks while Republicans sought administrative action and regulation.

Sandoval applauded Trump for directing the Justice Department this week to ban the bump stocks.

“I fully support the elimination of those,” Sandoval said.

Meanwhile, Sandoval joined a bipartisan group of governors who unveiled a proposal Friday to reform the nation’s health care system to give states more flexibility with federal programs, stabilize insurance markets and lower the costs to patients.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said the proposal hinges on market-based incentives to provide quality care and rewarding primary care doctors.

The governors are urging Congress and the White House to restore insurer subsidies that were stopped by the president.

Democrats backing the plan are Govs. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, also helped write the proposal.

Nevada has just one insurer for its public exchange.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - VIDEO
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - VIDEO
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas homeless ordinance becomes national campaign issue

Presidential candidates Julián Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg have all publicly opposed a Las Vegas ordinance banning campaign in public spaces downtown.