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April 18, 2015

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Nevada lawmaker calls for ‘reasonable restrictions’ on gun ownership


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Assembly members Tick Segerblom and Teresa Benitez-Thompson talk before an Assembly meeting on the third day of the 2011 legislative session Wednesday, February 9, 2011 in Carson City.

Gun law debate

KSNV reports on how the Newtown, Conn., shooting massacre has revived the debate over gun control laws in America.

The gun control debate in Nevada’s Legislature has in recent decades been focused on one front: How far should the state loosen restriction on gun owners’ rights?

But now, in the wake of last week’s elementary school shooting in Connecticut and a 2011 shooting that left four dead and 14 wounded at a Carson City IHOP, one lawmaker said he wants to steer the conversation another way, addressing the “third rail” of Nevada politics.

“I think the expansion of gun rights has reached its apogee,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I look forward to spending the next decade trying to limit weapons of mass destruction.”

Segerblom said he “supports reasonable restrictions on handguns and assault weapons and concealed weapons.”

His statements reflect a break from Nevada Democratic and Republican party platforms, which historically have stressed a strict adherence to the rights of gun ownership.

Support for the Second Amendment’s right of individual gun ownership has a strong history in Nevada, a libertarian political environment with a strong distrust of the federal government. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been regarded as a pro-gun lawmaker.

But on Monday, Reid called for a change in the “laws and culture that allow this violence to continue to grow” and said “every idea should be on the table as we discuss how best to do just that.” He stopped short, however, of calling for a national discussion on gun control.

In Nevada, two Democratic lawmakers fell over each other in 2011 arguing about authorship of legislation that was advocated by the National Rifle Association.

Any effort to stir up a gun control debate is sure to get a response from both sides of the aisle. Gun rights supporters packed a legislative committee meeting this summer and successfully stopped a discussion about assault weapons, pushed by Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas.

“It’s a characteristic, really, of the Western states,” said John Cahill, president of the Nevada Outdoor Democratic Caucus and elected Clark County public administrator. He suspects some Las Vegas Democrats would like to tackle the issue, but “a lot of Democrats just want to leave it alone. They know it’s a third rail. Democrats want to win everywhere.”

Cahill, who stressed he was not speaking for the Democratic Party, said gun control is not the solution to gun violence.

“They need to look for a solution to the problem, and gun control doesn’t offer a solution to the problem,” he said.

Instead, he advocates putting two police officers in each school when children are there. He said he’d be willing to pay more in taxes to do so.

Roberta Lange, chairwoman of the Nevada State Democratic Party, said Monday that it wasn’t time to talk about gun control.

“Now is the time for reflection,” she said. “Now is not the time to have that discussion.”

But Nevada had its own mass shooting last year. In September 2011, a 32-year-old with a history of mental illness walked into a Carson City IHOP and started shooting an automatic rifle. Four died and 14 were wounded, including a table of uniformed Nevada National Guard troops.

That restaurant, which remains open, is 2.4 miles from the Nevada Legislature.

Segerblom has not yet filed bill requests on gun control. When he does, he will face steep opposition from those on the other side of the debate who will call for expansion of the right of people to carry firearms.

Freshman Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, D-Las Vegas, told journalist Jon Ralston on Friday night that she planned to move forward with a bill draft that would allow guns on college and university campuses. A similar bill failed in 2011.

Segerblom understands Nevada’s tradition of Second Amendment support.

“With Nevada’s history with hunting and ranching, there’s a legitimate use for guns. And we also have one of the most expansive concealed weapons laws in the country,” he said. “But we’ve become increasingly urbanized. We have to recognize there’s no reason to have assault weapons and concealed weapons on campuses.”

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  1. Here we go again! "Gun control." What they actually mean is more government control over our activities - be they speech, food, beverages, association, attitudes, thinking. "Careless use of smoking materials" recently killed a 66-year-old woman and destroyed 8 apartments in LV. Should we ban smoking and, too boot, matches? DUI's kill 1,000s each year. Should we ban alcohol? Oh, yeah, we tried that. How well did that work out? "Big rigs" slam into smaller vehicles on a daily basis squashing their occupants. Shall we ban "big rigs?" Then there are motor vehicles themselves. They kill many more than guns each year. Maybe we should ban them and go back to the horse & buggy. Only allow police, fire and military vehicles on the road. After all, that would be easier to enforce then a gun ban. You can't conceal a Hummer in your side pocket, can you? No, the answer is not to "control" guns; it's to have the government subsidize the ownership of guns so everyone can afford one to protect themselves from those who would harm them. Sort of food stamps on steroids. I believe it was George Carlin (I could be mistaken) who opined when airplane highjackings were at their heights, "The way to end the highjackings is to give everyone upon entering the plane a gun." Who can argue with that logic? If authorities who restrict access to defensive weapons had listened, there would have been no 9/11.

  2. Let's all remember Segerblom at the next election.

    He certainly has a right to his opinion. However, if you (like me) disagree, you should express yourself at the ballot box.

    (That's how democracy works in a republic.)

  3. How many bullets do you need in a clip ? Does anyone need fragmenting or armor piercing bullets ? How many rounds of ammo should you be able to buy without a permit ? Should gun owners be required to have trigger locks or keep guns secure ?

  4. This is a democracy, not a republic. In a republic, only those qualified by property, wealth, family or religious affiliation are allowed to vote. In a Democracy, everyone is entitled to vote regardless of economic, religious or social status (except criminals).

    Democracies cannot be church and state organizations because democracies are "godless" by their very nature. Fascist Governments are always church and state affairs and mostly organized as republics, controlled by a select few.

    Thus, in the governing of a republic, slavery and religious domination by one faith are possible, which is why the GOP is working so diligently to create one.

  5. The constitutional right to bear arms addressed CITIZENS who could carry long arms / single shot rifles. There is no right for a non-citizen. There were no pistols or concealable weapons. There were no automatic or semi-automatics with scopes and laser accuracy.
    I own personal protection. I'm former law enforcement. I also utilize other forms of security--cameras, fences, security gates. And those of us who know, KNOW that the absolute best-performing form of protection is common sense AND common courtesy. In unanticipated circumstances, it would be nice to know that the Perps don't have assault weapons. The best-selling safety experts that advise on how to get out of an attempted kidnapping / hostage situation includes the advise that you "outrun" the gun. Yup. Says that the victims who get into the hostage vehicle NEVER COME BACK. So, your odds are greatly improved by zig-zagging a getaway BEFORE you get in the car.

  6. The United States of America, with it's democracy, offers a better life than does the United States of Special Interests. I suggest that had we maintained democratic principles in the nation we'd have no reason to be discussing gun ownership today as our citizens behaved sensibly with their weapons while democracy was in play.

  7. Hows that ban on drugs working out for you? We need more prisons for the drug arrests, we will need more prisons for the people who don't buy health insurance, now you will need to build more prisons for people who still follow the law and the constitution...

  8. We have a city police force now that kills innocent people without penalty, can you imagine what will happen if they are the only ones allowed to have guns??

  9. "The gun control debate in Nevada's Legislature has in recent decades been focused on one front: How far should the state loosen restriction on gun owners' rights? ..... "I think the expansion of gun rights has reached its apogee," said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I look forward to spending the next decade trying to limit weapons of mass destruction."

    Segerblom has perjured his oath to support, protect and defend the Constitutions. "Gun rights" are not the state's to expand or contract according to any other standard than what those Constitutions provide and protect against. In Nevada that's found @

    Too many are ignorant of the fact Connecticut already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in this republic. Yet that shooting happened.

    "Here we go again! "Gun control." What they actually mean is more government control over our activities - be they speech, food, beverages, association, attitudes, thinking."

    lvfacts -- good post!

    "How many bullets do you need in a clip ?"

    wedo -- as many as one chooses. "bullets ... in a clip" aren't the problem, nor is rounds fired, it's what the shooter chooses to aim at. Duh!

    "This is a democracy, not a republic."

    SunJon -- did you take an ignorant pill about half a year ago? Your posts used to be reasoned and logical, for the most part. Our federal Constitution mandates a republican form of government. You'll find that in Article IV, 4.

    "The constitutional right to bear arms addressed CITIZENS who could carry long arms / single shot rifles. There is no right for a non-citizen."

    Roslenda -- assuming you're referring to the federal Second Amendment, where exactly do you get that from "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed"?

    "...the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table." District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. (slip opinion at 64) (2008)

  10. Segerblom said he "supports reasonable restrictions on handguns and assault weapons and concealed weapons."
    What is reasonable to one person may not be reasonable to others. The young man that did the killing at the school stole the guns from his mother after he killed her. That is the way the bad guys usually get their guns.
    Gun control sends shivers down my spine because it is a knee jerk reaction to a horrible event. Knee Jerk Reactions usually go from one extreme to another and accomplish little to fix the problem.

  11. "No one needs nor should they be allowed to acquire automatic weapons discharging hundreds of rounds in the time it takes to blink."

    TomD -- only Gatling guns do that, and I don't believe any person has free access to them. Try again without the exaggeration and maybe you'll get some credibility here.

    "Concern citizens are refereed to as "jackals and trolls" ..why must we have irresponsible member of the right wing media name call at a time like this?"

    mred -- it's called free speech

    "To exaggerate is to weaken." -- Jean Francois de La Harpe, 1770 "Melanie"

  12. Killer: Automatic and semi-automatic discharge dozens of rounds in a minute. Mucho differente than single shot long rifles.

  13. "Some remember Kent State University when the rifled muzzels of government madmen gunned down defenseless school children..."

    Harley -- I remember that, and the protest song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. You forgot to mention it was National Guard who did the shooting -- essentially the Ohio state militia.

    "Killer: Automatic and semi-automatic discharge dozens of rounds in a minute. Mucho differente than single shot long rifles."

    Roslenda -- what's your point? You should check those Heller and McDonald cases before you respond.

    "Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rulemaking or legislation which would abrogate them." -- Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491 (1966)

  14. Nobody needs, nor has a right to, automatic and semi-automatic fire arms.

  15. "This is a democracy, not a republic. In a republic,..."

    I pledge allegiance to the flag,
    and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands.

    Respectfully, you are mistaken.

  16. @ TomD1228..."No one needs nor should they be allowed to acquire automatic weapon..." And no one outside of the Military can. Or are you suggesting that our troops man the fence in Gitmo with muskets?

    Does anyone NEED an assault rifle? I doubt it, but does anyone NEED a car that goes 200 MPH. Does anyone NEED 20 bedroom house. Does anyone NEED to read your drivel? Again I doubt it.

    As soon as we disarm those who have declared war against the American Citizenry (ie the police), then we can talk about disarming the Citizenry.

  17. Excuse me but what parallel universe do some of you posters live in? I've had a drivers license for more than 60 years and have had occasion to be stopped by police officers during that time for various infractions of the law - for exceeding the speed limit or making a "rolling" stop. I cannot recall a time when I was shown disrespect by an officer and I suspect those that have, were uncooperative or boorish towards the guy or gal just doing what we pay them to do. I never argue, but do plead my case and, in some instances, I have been sent on my way with merely a warning; other times, I was cited. Either way, it was not the officer at fault; it was I. I know we all feel like schmucks when pulled over and tend to blame others, but that's a bad attitude which can only lead to confrontation and posts such as we read here from cop haters. So, for those folks, next time you have need of police protection - don't dial 911; dial up the ACLU and see what good that does you.

  18. @tomD...Some say Stanley Gibson was "paranoid" to believe that the armed officers who tried to detain him were "jack booted thugs" out to do him harm. So, was his fear justified? Was he right to fear for his safety? After all they let him go without a scratch, save the seven bullet holes in his skull.

    It's because of my "right wing, paranoia" that Cook County Taxpayers shelled out nearly $600,000 to Michael Tillman, a man tortured for days and not the "jack booted thugs" who waterboarded and severely beat him.

    It's because of my " right wing, paranoia" that NYPD paid out $22.8 million from June 2011 to June 2012 not the "jack booted thugs" who ignored the United States Constitution violating the rights of three dozen people.

    It's because of my "right wing, paranoia" the NYPD expects to pay out $735 million in 2012 and not the "jack booted thugs" who continue to arrest people for charges deemed unconstitutional 20 years ago.

    I can go on and on and on and on and on and on.......

    What's sad is how you see this as a partisan issue, when most conservatives label me a "crazy lib" for daring to talk about police misconduct.

    I guess you prove ignorance knows no party.

  19. There are in the neighborhood of 240 million 911 calls a year. How many cases of police misconduct?

    You need to take your medication and relax.

    This politician has a lot of guts. He'll be lucky if somebody doesn't blow his head off. Nevada is one of the most violent states in the country.

  20. The police have declared war against the American citizenry?? What planet does this guy come from. I believe there were 1.2 million calls for police and fire services in Vegas last year. People call the police. The police don't call them.