Posts Tagged ‘permit’

[Update]: Background Check Exemption Status for CCW Holders Granted by ATF

By Anne Knowles | 11:46 am August 26th, 2011

Update: Shortly after this story posted, the ATF published an open letter to Nevada gun owners granting the exemption in question.

Thanks to a letter written by a concerned citizen, Nevada owners of a concealed weapons (CCW) permit may soon be able to purchase more firearms without further background checks and the associated $25 fee.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE, also commonly referred to as ATF) is reviewing legislation passed this last session to determine if Nevada again qualifies for an exemption from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. If the legislation meets BATFE requirements, the federal agency will issue an open letter to Nevada federal firearms licensees, or dealers, informing them a CCW permit will now suffice for firearm purchases.

For Nevada gun owners, that means they will forego additional background checks and the associated $25 fee charged by the state, as long as they can produce a valid CCW permit when purchasing a firearm.

A BATFE spokeswoman confirmed that the agency is reviewing the Nevada law, but could not say if or when the exemption would be granted.

“All we’re trying to do is talk to the ATF and make sure they have everything they need,” said Frank Adams, executive director of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association (NSCA) in Mesquite. “We’re expecting an answer shortly. I don’t have a crystal ball.”

The NSCA initially said it would contact BATFE via a formal letter, but at its July meeting the group opted to delay action until its September meeting at the request of the sheriffs of Clark and Washoe counties, said Adams.

“They wanted to study the impact because they anticipate a huge influx of new applications,” he said.

Adams said both counties have suffered tremendous budget cuts.
“We may have to go back to the counties and ask for more money,” he said, to cover the costs of new permit applications. “The fees we collect don’t cover the whole cost. They have to be fiscally concerned. It’s a privileged license being supplemented by taxpayer dollars.”

In the meantime, a private citizen associated with the Stillwater Firearms Association, a Fallon-based advocacy group, sent a letter to the ATF, which contacted him to say it was reviewing the new law passed by the state, according to J.L. Rhodes, legislative action committee chairman for the association.

“They called to say thank you,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes said he called the Nevada Department of Public Safety to see what the holdup was on contacting the ATF to trigger a review and was told that the ATF was already taking action based on the private citizen’s letter.

“It was left up to an individual to send the letter,” said Carrie Herbertson, state liaison for the National Rifle Association, who said the NSCA dragged its feet on the matter. “That’s one powerful letter.”

Nevada lost its exemption from the NICS checks in 2008 when it failed to pass legislation that would have brought the state into compliance. An earlier audit by the BATFE showed that not all of the state’s sheriff offices were conducting proper background checks and that state law did not require the checks on permit renewals.

In 2005, the state’s 17 sheriffs’ offices signed a Memorandum of Understanding saying they would comply with BATFE requirements until legislation could be enacted in the 2007 legislative session, allowing the state to hang onto its exemption until then.

The Nevada legislature, though, failed to pass the needed legislation in 2007 so, in 2008, the BATFE said the state no longer qualified for the exemption.

Since then, CCW permit holders have had to go through a background check for each firearm purchase and, because Nevada acted as a point of contact (POC) and used the state’s criminal records database, had to pay a $25 fee. Background checks conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for states that opt not to be POCs are free.

No action was taken during the 2009 legislative, but this past session Assembly Bill 282 passed. The bill includes the language making the process for initial applications and renewals the same and is expected to satisfy the BATFE’s rules for exemption from the NICS checks. The only thing left is for the BATFE to review the bill, give its stamp of approval and inform dealers that they can now accept CCW permits as an alternative to NICS checks.

But the granting of the NICS exemption may not be the end of the issue. According to the NRA’s Herbertson, at least one Nevada state legislator is looking into why the state charges a $25 fee for the check it will be required to do on initial applications and 5-year renewals even with the exemption.

“The $25 fee is absurd,” said Herbertson, who says that many other so-called POC states charge less. She said she believed the charges for the NICS checks were $2 in Virginia, $7.50 in Utah and $10.50 in Oregon, for example.

Nevada is one of 21 states that act as a POC, according to the BATFE web site. In the rest of the states, dealers go through the FBI for free checks. Herbertson said several states are now trying to back out of their POC status, but this year only Delaware was successful in dropping it.


Update: Land Owner of Searchlight Tea Party Site Clears Up Permit and Parking Concerns

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:01 am March 26th, 2010

This will be the first of multiple updates and stories about the Searchlight Tea Party rally and related events tomorrow.

Yesterday it was reported that there might be some problems with permits (for grading and tortoises) and parking for the rally site down in Searchlight.  Here is an update from TD Barnes, the man whose company has donated the land for the rally:

On the grading permit, the inspector called me to apologize and offered any support we might need from him personally. I do have to call someone here in the Las Vegas department. (The inspector was from Laughlin). I don’t think there is a problem there.

As to the Desert Tortoise, our section of land is exempt from the Desert Tortoise rule.  We have never seen one and somewhere along the line, someone challenged -whomever- to this effect and they officially exempted the land. (I know of other instances where this has been done when land was not populated by the critter.)

On the parking, someone mentioned to the media that a small area had been set aside for the event – meaning the stage area – and it was reported that was all the parking there was for the entire event. But we have all of the front area and up over the hill set aside, so there is a lot of parking. (I think much of the front is reserved for RVs and handicap spots with the rest parking over the hill.)

I don’t think anyone has a clue as to the number planning to attend. There is no doubt that parking might be hectic. The organizers have a number of volunteer policemen lined up to direct traffic on the property. Ingress and egress are definitely going to be challenging since there is only the one road. I expect the organizers to have detailed traffic control to manage the coming and going.

I would also like to express my appreciation for Diane Kendall and all her volunteers at Searchlight for their Herculean efforts and behind the scenes coordination to prepare for this event. Diane is in the real estate business in Searchlight and I’m sure set concern for her business aside to step up to the plate for this historic event.

And:

From what I hear about those attending, a majority are not Tea Party people. It’s true that the Tea Party organized the event, but the attendees are mostly independent people expressing their dissatisfaction with our government overall and should be labeled as simply “the People”.

Sounds to me like they are as ready as they can be.  I’ll be speaking with Diane Kendall later today, I hope, so I’ll post updates at that time (if there are any).