Reaction as Nevada governor vetoes 3 gun-safety bills: 'disgust'

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Published Saturday, May 20, 2023
by Alex Gonzalez

(Nevada News Service) This week, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed a trio of bills that sought to reduce gun violence. 

Assembly Bill 354 would have cracked down on so-called "ghost gun" sale loopholes and prohibited guns at polling places. AB 355 would have raised the legal age to possess assault weapons from 18 to 21. 

And SB 171 would have prohibited anyone convicted of a hate crime from owning, purchasing or possessing a firearm for 10 years. 

Executive Director of Battle Born Progress Annette Magnus said she's "never been so disappointed about three bills" in her life. 

At a news conference, Magnus said gun owners like herself - and the majority of Nevadans - support what she called "commonsense measures."

"We are here now to express our disappointment and disgust for the fact that he was willing and able to sign these measures into law to protect Nevadans, the day after yet another shooting that happened in New Mexico," said Magnus, "and he vetoed them as the first bills of session."

Magnus called Lombardo's action a "slap in the face." 

In a statement, the governor said he won't support "legislation that infringes on the constitutional rights of Nevadans." He said he saw the bills as "in direct conflict with legal precedent and established constitutional protections." 

Assembly Majority Leader Sandra Jauregui - D-Las Vegas - was among supporters of the bills, and is a survivor of the October 2017 shooting spree in Las Vegas that took 58 lives and left hundreds injured. 

Jauregui said after Lombardo spent time consoling the families of that tragedy, she expected him - in her words - "to have the basic empathy to realize his responsibility to prevent future mass shootings and gun violence tragedies." 

"It is disappointing for the governor to reject these commonsense measures that would save lives," said Jauregui. "I desperately wish the governor would put the safety of Nevadans ahead of partisan politics."

Jauregui added that rejecting the bills puts the governor "out of touch with everyday Nevadans." 

Participants at the news conference said they'll continue to work for gun-violence prevention in the state. may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

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