File Photo/Nevada Sagebrush
The Nevada Legislative Building as it stands in Carson City, Nevada, on Monday April 3. Douglas, Elko and Eureka counties raised concerns over Senate Bill 143.

Douglas, Elko, and Eureka county Sheriffs have raised concerns about the enforceability of Senate Bill 143 since its passage on Friday, Feb. 15.

Eureka County Sheriff Jesse J. Watts sent a letter to Gov. Steve Sisolak just four days after the bill was signed into law.

“This law is unenforceable by the already thin staff of Nevada Law Enforcement,” said Watts. “It is the position of this Sheriff, that I refuse to participate, or stand idly by, while my citizens are turned into criminals due to the unconstitutional actions of misguided politicians.”

Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverly echoed Watts’ sentiment about the new law.

“I do not plan on putting any effort or resources into enforcing it, primarily because it’s unenforceable,” said Coverley, according to the Record Courier.

Senate Bill 143 closes the “gun show loophole”, making it illegal for someone to purchase a gun from an unlicensed dealer without first undergoing a background check.

In Elko County, Elko County Commissioners and Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza discussed a resolution to make the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary” county.

“We’re going to follow the Constitution, we’re going to follow all the state laws, and gun laws,” said Sheriff Narvaiza, according to the Elko Daily Free Press. “We’re just not supporting this bill. California’s already seizing guns, other states are seizing guns, we’re just here to make sure that Elko keeps ours.”

Lyon County Commissioners are considering a similar resolution.

According to a post on the Lyon County Facebook page from Mar. 2, “The Lyon County Board of Commissioners will be reviewing and potentially voting on a proposed ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary County’ Resolution at the March 21, 2019 County Commission meeting.”

The movement towards “sanctuary counties” is not unique to Nevada.

Counties in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington have passed their own versions of 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolutions in response to stricter gun laws being passed or proposed in their state legislatures.

 

Taylor Avery can be reached at oali@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.