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Brooks attempted to buy gun in Sparks; officials reviewing whether to approve sale

Updated Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 | 2:39 p.m.

Troubled Assemblyman Steven Brooks, D-North Las Vegas, tried to buy a firearm at a Sparks sporting goods store on Thursday and the sale is pending a background check by state public safety officials, Chief Patrick Conmay confirmed.

The sale at Scheels was put on "delay" as authorities research Brooks background to determine whether he is eligible to purchase the gun. Restrictions on gun sales are limited and generally include a felony conviction, a domestic violence conviction or an adjudication of mental illness.

Although Brooks has been arrested twice in the past month-- once on allegations he threatened a fellow lawmaker and once on allegations of domestic battery-- he has not been convicted in either of those instances. Brooks was also detained by police for a psychiatric evaluation and spent five days in a Las Vegas hospital.

Conmay said a decision has not been made on whether Brooks is eligible to buy the gun. The department has three business days to make that determination, meaning a decision will be made on Tuesday.

The lack of a conviction wouldn't necessarily allow Brooks to purchase the firearm. State officials can determine his status is "unresolved." In that case, the firearms dealer could make the decision whether to go forward with the sale.

"Typically, an 'unresolved' is where we see an arrest reported on a rap sheet without any disposition needed to make a decision," Conmay said.

"The firearm dealer can decide to go ahead and sell the gun, but most of the time when the dealer is notified there is still an issue, they don’t do that," Conmay said.

Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, confirmed that Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Assembly Majority Leader William Horne both received temporary restraining orders against Brooks on Feb. 14 that last until March 16, unless extended.

He said that following news that Brooks attempted to purchase a firearm, there was increased security at the Legislature.

"We're not ignoring it," he said. "There's a heightened level of concern and awareness." But, he said, "We believe people in the building are safe... I truly believe that we're all being watched out for by people being paid to watch out for us."

The 30-day temporary protective orders, issued by the Carson City Justice Court, prevents Brooks from entering the Legislature or Kirkpatrick's or Horne's residences. Horne, as chair of the select committee investigating Brooks, banned him from the building. The protective orders also prevent Brooks from "contacting, intimidating, threatening or otherwise interfering" with the two Democrats, Combs said.

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  1. Due to his recent actions I don't see him doing good if he is in possession of a gun.

    Hopefully some good judgment is used here.

  2. Truly Outrageous! Were the Judges who set Mr. Brooks' bail conditions out to lunch? I must be under the mistaken impression that people arrested for domestic battery and making death threats against an elected official could not possess firearms as an automatic condition of bail.

  3. I could see this going down : Uhhh yeah I wanna buy dis rifol, now, don't be doin one uh dose checks on me doe I jus buyz it now ok?, jus gimme da gun I got places to go and peepol ta see, What ??? 3 daze??? mannn dat aint rite. Hmmm , uhhhh never mind I jus goes and gets wun on da street.

  4. Welcome to where the rubber meets the road in the gun control debate. The one common theme in all these mass shootings has been that the shooter was not of sound mind, to put it politely.

    Does Mr. Brooks have a sound mind? Who will determine if he does or does not?

    He has been arrested - but not convicted. He's gone in for psychiatric evaluation, and come back out again. In both cases, the police and the doctors performing the psychiatric evaluation let him go out into public again, and I'd take this as evidence that they do not feel he is a danger to himself or others.

    The Assembly swore him into office. That says they think he's competent to represent his district (no offense meant to his constituents). Of course, they though they had his word that he'd leave right away, which he did not. What a shock! A politician that didn't keep his word - why, that's almost like promising a tax increase is temporary and then extending it over and over again. Seems more like SOP for the Assembly than anything else.

    It seems to me that what we have can be one of two things. One is that the stories of his mental instability have been exagerrated in the press. The other is that the authorities that should restrict his freedom have failed to do so, hoping someone else would do what is needed.

    A third possibility is that what we have is a gap in the law that gives no one the authority to restrict anyone's rights under these circumstances.

    What do we do when a person acts normally most of the time, but has his temper explode in times of stress? When someone can't control their temper in such circumstances, I sure wouldn't want them to have a gun.

    And who makes that decision?

  5. Oh my god..this is just plain sick. If he was not an assemblyman, he would be in jail..really, he would be. Keep it up.. Is he out of friends that will "loan him a gun?"

  6. Will common sense prevail here? I womder how LaPierre would resolve this case.

  7. I'd let him buy all the guns he could carry, plus I'd lift the restraining order on him entering the Legislature. Let those morons in Carson City know how "ordinary" citizens feel to have a crackpot threatening them. They receive no "special" treatment and are left, in most cases, to sink or swim on their own. I have no sympathy for the lunkheads in Carson City. Let them call their friends at the ACLU for help; the ones who made it virtually impossible to put nutcases such as Brooks in an environment far away from normal society.

  8. Amen Jerry Fink , amen. Tell it like it is.

  9. Mr. Fink,

    Fact is you don't want him put away. Putting him away would cost money. Money that you don't want to be taxed to take care of the problem. You also don't want others having the right to make these decisions because someday they might have to make the decision and it involves you. You would be screaming personal rights big time if this was you involved here.

    You can't have it both ways. Personal rights and not paying for protection.

    That seems to be the problems today. Everyone wants the government to take care of everything yet don't want to pay for them to do it. Than when it costs people in taxes they don't want the government taking care of the problems.