Nevada Governor Vetoes 3 Gun Bills Backed By Democratic-Led Legislature

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Frances Floresca Contributor
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Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed a trio of gun control bills Wednesday.

The Democratic-led legislature passed Assembly Bill 354, Assembly Bill 355, and Senate Bill 171 on party-line votes, according to the Nevada legislature’s website. (RELATED: Tennessee Gov Enhances Background Checks, Calls For Red Flag Laws Following Shooting)

“I will not support legislation that infringes on the constitutional rights of Nevadans,” Lombardo said in a statement. “As I stated in my letters, much of the legislation I vetoed today is in direct conflict with legal precedent and established constitutional protections. Therefore, I cannot support them.”

AB 354 would have prohibited guns within 100 feet of an “election site,” which include polling, ballot box and drop-off, and central counting locations. It also updates the definition of  “firearms importer or manufacturer.”

AB 355 would have barred individuals under 21 from handling and possessing semiautomatic shotguns or semiautomatic centerfire rifles, and SB 171 would have forbidden anyone “committing or attempting to commit a crime motivated by certain characteristics of the victim” from possessing firearms for 10 years.

In letters to Speaker of the Nevada State Assembly Steve Yeager and Majority Leader of the Nevada State Senate Nicole Cannizzaro, Lombardo provided reasons for vetoing the gun control legislation. He noted that the measures were “too broad,” would be unlikely to “pass constitutional muster,” and put a “defendant’s Second Amendment rights in jeopardy.”

The Democrats do not have the votes to override the veto, unless at least one Republican lawmaker votes with them, according to a local CBS outlet.

Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, who sponsored two of the bills, issued a statement referencing the October 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting.

“I desperately wish the Governor would put the safety of Nevadans over partisan politics. After his time consoling the families of the 1 October massacre, I expected the governor to have the basic empathy to realize his responsibility to prevent future mass shootings and gun violence tragedies,” she said.