Nevada Senate begins examination of gun policy

2013-03-16T02:30:00Z Nevada Senate begins examination of gun policyThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 16, 2013 2:30 am  • 

CARSON CITY — The brother of a taxicab driver killed last month in a fiery shootout and crash on the Las Vegas Strip is speaking out against gun violence.

Tehran Boldon urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“Assault weapons have no place on our streets, and high capacity magazines have no place in our country,” Boldon told the committee. “Law enforcement, military — that’s one thing. But civilians don’t need those.”

His brother, Michael Boldon, was one of three people killed Feb. 21 when the driver of a Maserati was gunned down and his car careened into other vehicles before erupting in a fireball. Gun violence has dominated headlines across the country and state legislatures are taking a hard look at their gun policies.

The crash on the Strip came less than a year and a half after Eduardo Sencion killed four people and then himself at a Carson City IHOP restaurant in 2011. Police still don’t know what motivated Sencion to unload 90 rounds from a semi-automatic rifle in less than 90 seconds that September day.

“He took that with him to the grave,” Carson City Sheriff Kenneth Furlong told lawmakers Friday.

Furlong added that the rifle Sencion used was modified to be fully automatic — meaning it was illegal under Nevada law — but that it was not an assault rifle.

Aside from the modified rifle, Sencion didn’t violate any laws owning the weapons, Furlong said. Sencion was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

The possibility of another shooting like IHOP, or the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, inspired Sen. Justin Jones, D-Las Vegas, to draft a bill protecting Nevadans from becoming the next victims.

“Sandy Hook changed me, as it did many others. I am a father first, and it made my stomach turn to think a mentally ill person could unleash so much carnage with a gun,” Jones said while presenting a gun control bill Thursday.

SB221, heard by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, mandates universal background checks for all gun transactions in Nevada and tightens gun control laws for those suffering from mental illness.

The bill requires courts to transmit findings of mental defect to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System within five business days to ensure mentally ill persons cannot purchase a gun after a court ruling, but before their information is added to the registry.

“You can’t effectively keep guns out of hands of those dangerous to others without background checks on all sales,” Jones said.

Nevada is one of four states that don’t require doctors to report to law enforcement if a mentally ill patient makes a threat to themselves or others, so this law mandates such reporting, he added.

The bill requires background checks on all “transfers” of firearms between individuals — a point several lawmakers and witnesses contested Thursday. But Jones said the language was intended to keep family members from giving guns to mentally ill relatives.

Opponents say it would bar relatives from giving gifts or even sharing guns at a shooting range.

Current law disallows those involuntarily admitted to a mental institution by a court from purchasing a firearm. Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, introduced another bill Friday that prohibits people from purchasing firearms or ammunition if psychiatrists have requested that the courts place that person in a mental institution.

After three years, those persons would be able to request to have their gun-owning rights reinstated.

Greg Ross of Reno told committee members Friday that restricting legal gun models, magazine size and bullet type will only put citizens in more danger.

“Everyone has a right to protect themselves,” he said, “not just the police.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. Cubs Fan
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    Cubs Fan - March 17, 2013 4:27 pm
    Ammar Harris, the self described "pimp" who killed three people in Las Vegas, including Mr. Boldon's brother, was a convicted felon. He was therefore already violating the law by merely possessing the gun he used to shoot up the Vegas Strip. Since that law clearly didn't work, why should I believe more laws somehow would have prevented the murders. With all due respect to Mr. Boldon, I'm not really interested in his opinion as to what type of weapons he or anyone else for that matter thinks I should own. Maybe we should focus on preventing the plea bargaining away of sentences that would keep dirt bags like Ammar Harris locked up before they commit such heinous acts. From what I've read about Harris, he has committed plenty of serious crimes already. Speaking of sentences, it's high time that the death penalty was a deterrent again. The never ending appellate process that has bastardized our legal system in recent years is a joke. In 1957, Charles Starkweather killed 11 people. He was captured in January, 1958 and executed on June 25, 1959. Justice should be swift in this country and if there was any, Ammar Harris would be sucking his last pathetic gasps by 2014. Of course we'll probably still be trying to extradite him from California in 2014. That's the modern reality.
  2. DEBoyd
    Report Abuse
    DEBoyd - March 17, 2013 6:37 am
    Samual Francis was a bit of a kook but his description of government's penchant for evading their responsibility to protect us from the criminal because it's easier to control the innocent was on the money. "What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny – the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes". Gun control we know your name - Anarco-Tyranny.
  3. DEBoyd
    Report Abuse
    DEBoyd - March 17, 2013 5:57 am
    "“You can’t effectively keep guns out of hands of those dangerous to others without background checks on all sales,” Jones said."

    The only thing it would take to make this a true statement would be to remove the "out" from the word "without".
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