Across the United States, the increase in shooting incidents has prompted citizens and lawmakers to push for better gun control laws. In Nevada, lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban firearms within gaming properties. The new legislation was introduced after the city of Las Vegas was subject to several shootings, some inflicting injury, and some death.
Senate Bill 452
The legislation, known as Senate Bill 452, would expand the penalty for those who decide to bring a firearm into a casino. The legislation does have the support of lawmakers as well as MGM Resorts International, a local operator.
The goal of the legislation is to decrease the number of violent crimes in Las Vegas. During the pandemic and even now, Las Vegas has been subject to violent incidents on a weekly basis, from fights and stabbings to shootings.
At one time, the Metro police department was investigating eight different shootings that took place in a one-month time frame, just in Las Vegas. Provisions in the legislation would apply to large resorts that opt-in to the gun ban.
Signs would need to be posted on-site as well as online to alert customers of the zero-tolerance policy. Senator Melanie Scheible said that it makes sense to enforce such a ban in a large casino just as they do in schools and public libraries in the state.
Scheible said that Nevada needs to pay special attention to the resorts, casinos, hotels, and other places that people come from around the world to see. Patrons should feel safe when visiting and facilities should have an increased and improved amount of safety on-site.
Las Vegas is also home to trade shows that involve gun purchases. People who buy firearms at a trade show would not be subject to the ban. The individual must contact the property in which they are staying and let them know that a firearm has been purchased.
The measure has flexibility built in so that patrons, as well as employees, will be safe while at the casinos, be it for work or pleasure.
Based on the details of the measure, the bill would allow gaming properties to fully ban firearms, even those carried by individuals who have a concealed carry license. Posts have to be added to the property so that everyone can clearly see the rules and regulations.
Anyone who breaks the regulation would be subject to a misdemeanor charge. The punishment for this charge is up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. Security of a casino would have the right to contact law enforcement if someone is onsite with a weapon. They are to be reported as trespassing in a firearm-free zone.
There is a concern that the law could lead to racial profiling. There has also been opposition from policing groups and gun rights activists.
It is unclear if lawmakers will go ahead with the measure and pass it into law or if any changes might be made. It could be that there is not enough support to get the measure off the ground in the first place.