RPD officer under investigation for allegedly selling gun to teen with mental disorder

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Updated: 8/06/2013 1:01 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- A Reno police officer is under "administrative investigation" for allegedly selling a gun to a 19-year old man with a mental disorder in a Starbucks parking lot at 4am while the officer was on duty.

The mother of the buyer claims he has a history of being suicidal and was committed to a mental health facility last year.

The officer, Sgt. Laura Conklin, was named "Best Police Officer" by a Reno News and Review reader poll back in 2008. In 2011, she also brought a suit against the City claiming she was subject to a hostile work environment.

It's illegal under federal and state law for a person to possess a firearm if he or she has been committed to any mental health facility. It's also is illegal to knowingly sell a firearm to someone who has been institutionalized. Background checks are not required for private gun sales in Nevada.

News 4 sat down with Reno Deputy Attorney Jack Campbell and talked about the internal investigation. We'll have that interview tomorrow on News 4 Today.
UPDATE: News 4 has confirmed with the City of Reno Deputy Attorney Jack Campbell that the investigation into the allegations involving Reno Police Department Sgt. Laura Conklin is underway and detectives have been on the case for the last couple of days.

Campbell says the top priority in the investigation is finding out whether or not Sgt. Conklin was in fact on duty when she sold the gun. Otherwise, Campbell says he believes the transaction was legal.

"The reporting party alleges that the boy has some mental health issues, there would be no way for anybody to know that because that's just not a public record," Campbell says.

Campbell went on to explain that the situation would fall under a private sale transaction and that there are no background check laws in effect.

"I think that's the national debate about the background check. Really what information would be in it and how valuable would they be," Campbell says.

News 4 will continue to bring you the latest on the investigation as more information becomes available.  
3 Comment(s)
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Reno Native - 7/12/2013 2:42 PM
0 Votes
This is not a crime. The officer was probably just befriending the young man. What sort of news story is this? Even if a licensed gun shop would have run a records check on the man there wouldn't have been any disclosue about his mental/medical history.

chocomom - 7/11/2013 10:56 PM
0 Votes
Nothing illegal occurred here...no story....if on duty, then internal investigation only... No database for mental health inquiries and will not ever be... Only thing I can say is that I am glad that his mom is at least involved in his life and looking out for his best interest, but not the cops fault.

Kramer - 7/11/2013 1:59 PM
0 Votes
Gov. Samovar vetoed a background check bill. the cop wears a star & wants the 'bucks'. Star-buck$

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