Proposal Could Make It Easier To Carry Concealed Weapon

CARSON CITY – A bill from Sens. James Settelmeyer and John Lee would ease regulations for carrying a concealed semi-automatic weapon.

Their proposal would allow gun owners to obtain a generic concealed-carrying permit rather than a specific permit for each gun. Advocates for the bill said the current law’s requirements are like having to get separate driver’s licenses for every make and model of car you own.

“You do not have to qualify on your driver’s license for a stick shift and an automatic; it is the vehicle you are driving,” Lee said.

The law currently states that Nevadans must show proficiency with each semi-automatic weapon to obtain a permit for that specific weapon.

The same law, however, allows a person to test with one revolver in order to obtain a permit allowing concealed carrying of all types of revolvers.

Settelmeyer and Lee, a Republican and a Democrat, would change the statute to make semi-automatics equal with revolvers: one permit, all guns.

Frank Adams, executive director for Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, also endorsed the proposal. He said the bill still keeps testing and training requirements to carry concealed weapons. It does, however, ease requirements for citizens and sheriffs alike.

“This would not only make it easier for our citizens … it would make the administration to that program considerably simpler for us at the sheriff’s office,” he said.

Senators at the Senate Judiciary committee before which the bill was heard questioned whether this would make government less accountable for public safety.

Adams said it would not.

“They [gun owners] go through the training and the qualifications and then they are issued a permit from the county sheriff to carry a weapon concealed,” he said.

Other gun dealers and certified trainers testified in support of the bill. They argued that the bill would not endanger either the gun owner or others by allowing owners to obtain one permit for all semi-automatics.

One gun owner, however, admitted he stood to profit from keeping the law the way it was.

“On the current bill we get to charge people for shooting 17 different automatics,” said Bob Irwin, owner of The Gun Store in Las Vegas.

Nonetheless, Irwin said, if a person qualifies with one semi-automatic, that should be enough to qualify for all of them.

One person testified against the bill, saying the proposal would make Nevada less safe.