(Elynda Long and J. L. Rhodes) – Dear Sheriffs of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association,
On behalf of Stillwater Firearms Association, nearly 800 members strong in 10 Nevada counties, respectfully request immediate action to restore the NICS exemption.
As you know, Assembly Bill 282 was enacted effective July 1, 2011. A portion of AB-282 was specifically enacted to meet Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms requirements for state exemption from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
AB-282 sponsor and Speaker of the Nevada Assembly John Oceguera testified, “We have talked to the ATF. They are aware of this. They had talked about a May implementation date based on the language.”
In support of AB-282, NSCA Executive Director and paid lobbyist Frank Adams testified:
“I represent the 17 elected sheriffs who are responsible for administering this program. We have approximately 49,000 CCW permit holders in Nevada. We have worked with these issues for several sessions. The four issues the bill deals with—categorical qualification, background checks, confidentiality and State parks—will go a long way in helping us serve our citizens in Nevada.”
“In 2004, the ATF looked at Nevada’s CCW program and because of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, some changes were made to the process. We did not change the way we were doing business as far as background checks, so the ATF removed that exemption. The ATF required us to include the language in A.B. 282 to get that exemption back. Once this bill passes, the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association will petition the ATF to reinstate our exemption. It has said this language is needed to reinstate that exemption. When the exemption is reinstated, you will not have to pay for the Brady check when you purchase a weapon if you are a CCW permit holder.”
“Once the bill [AB-282] passes, we must apply to the ATF for the exemption. That will not happen overnight. We will make the request as quickly as we can, but I do not know how long it will take for ATF to reinstate the exemption. It has approved the language.”
This current situation is not like the situation in 2005 wherein the NDPS requested reinstatement after all Nevada sheriffs laudably signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating they would conduct NICS checks prior to issuing both initial and renewal permits in order to temporarily reinstate the exemption pending corrective legislation. (The NDPS request accompanied by the sheriffs’ MOU was accepted by the BATFE as an interim measure until the shortcomings in qualifying for the NICS exemption could be remedied by the Nevada Legislature.)
AB-282, as enacted into law effective July 1, 2011, was the corrective action. Nevada law now meets the BATFE requirements. This current issue is a matter of Nevada law meeting federal requirements – virtually separate from NSCA involvement. NDPS should expeditiously send application for reinstatement based on the fact Nevada law now meets BATFE requirements and the intent of AB-282.
We’re told an NSCA vote is required to determine whether or not to initiate a request to the BATFE to restore Nevadans’ NICS exemption. Citizens want to know why. The Nevada Legislature has already conducted a vote; AB-282 is law.
We understand two sheriffs desired to postpone action: “It was at the request of the two major Sheriffs in this state, Clark County and Washoe County to postpone the formal request to BATFE by the Association so they could determine what impact the reinstate [sic] of the exemption would have on their agencies.”
Regarding “impact,” a better question would be, “What will be the impact of the NSCA opposing the will and intent of the Nevada Legislature and the Governor of the great state of Nevada?”
To further delay action is unconscionable. Further delay is detrimental to over 50,000 CCW permittees (and voters!) and is clearly in opposition to the intent of AB-282. After all, Mr. Adams did testify AB-282 would “help us [NSCA] serve our citizens in Nevada.”
Gentlemen, CCW permit holders are among the best of good citizens. Truly, they are your friends. Sheriffs and good citizens must work together.
We strongly desire your individual comments and opinions on this matter.
Elynda Long, President
CPO J. L. Rhodes, USN(RET), Chair, Legislative Action Committee
Stillwater Firearms Association