Washoe County Sheriff addresses recent firearms questions

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Updated: 1/30/2013 8:47 am
WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley released a statement regarding recent questions about firearms, including enforcing recently implemented gun laws.

Below is the official statement of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office:


•As the chief law enforcement officer of Washoe County, I am sworn to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens I am entrusted to serve.


•This includes the Second Amendment, but also common sense restrictions like background checks and closing of loopholes in the current laws.


•The provisions of the Second Amendment were clearly reinforced by the United States Supreme Court in Heller vs. The District of Columbia.


•Included in the Heller Decision was a provision that not only affirmed an individual’s Right to Bear Arms, but also the Government’s responsibility/ability to find a balance in protecting the public from the criminal misuse of firearms.


•So, this is the balancing act we find ourselves in.


•I support a citizen’s right to legally possess firearms.


• I have worked to streamline the issuance of CCW Permits, not only in Washoe County, but throughout the State of Nevada through the Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association.


•One such example was by supporting recently enacted legislation, which allows CCW holders to carry any Semi Automatic Handgun, once they have demonstrated proficiency with that class of firearm. This provision was previously only extended to Revolvers.


•We receive many questions relating to Open Carry and CCW guidelines and laws. The excerpt below can assist in answering many of those questions:

oNevada is a traditional open carry state with complete state preemption of firearms laws as they relate to the carrying of firearms; this means that municipalities and counties cannot enact ordinances regulating the carrying or possession of firearms within their jurisdictions

oThe only exception to this exists in Clark County, which is addressed later in this summary

o Generally, a person otherwise allowed by law to possess a firearm under federal and state law may also carry a firearm openly (not concealed ) upon his/ her person in Nevada

oGenerally private property owners can regulate conduct on their land/ premises, so a private property owner can post their property prohibiting the possession of firearms on that property

oIf a person violates the posting, they can be asked to leave the premises by the owner or his/ her agent or remove the firearm prior to re-entering

oIf that person refuses to abide by the wishes of the property owner/ agent they can be charged with Trespassing as provided for in NRS 207.200

o A person who wishes to carry a concealed weapon must be in possession of a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit

oCCW Permits are issued by the Sheriff of the county in which the person resides or by any Nevada Sheriff if the person in a non-resident

oAll provisions of NRS 202.3653 thru 202.369 must be met and followed by the applicant prior to and after the issuance of a Nevada CCW Permit

oNevada Recognizes certain states, meaning that we recognize some state’s CCW permits as if they were a Nevada CCW permit and they recognize Nevada’s as if they were theirs; prior to traveling to or from Nevada with a CCW permit it is your responsibility to determine if your permit is recognized in the state (s) you will be visiting. This information is generally available either from any Sheriff in your county or through your State Attorney General’s Office

oNevada does not require firearms or their owners to be licensed or registered to own a firearm; the exception to this is in Clark County, which by County Code requires handguns to be registered within a specific timeframe (60 Days) after being brought into the county. Information related to this requirement can be obtained from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.


•I also want to ensure that Prohibited Persons, such as convicted Felons, Domestic Batterers and Mentally Ill Persons cannot gain access to firearms.


•I believe that we have done a good job in preventing individuals who have Felonious and other Restrictive Criminal Histories from legally purchasing firearms, but we can do better.


•I believe we have done a POOR JOB in preventing Mentally Ill Persons from gaining access to firearms.


•I have discussed these concerns with my staff and these are the two areas that I hope I can work with organizations such as the NRA in coming to a consensus on.


•We need to bridge the gap that restricts Medical/ Mental Health Providers from sharing information with NICS related to Mentally Disturbed Persons. This Must Occur!


•We have to design an easy to use system that allows private sales of firearms between individuals, but requires and provides for the same NICS check that licensed dealers are required to run when transferring firearms.


•I believe that such provisions are not intrusive, restrictive or unreasonable.


•Simply put, I have no issue with a Citizen’s Right to Bear Arms and support and defend that right.


• I just want to ensure that those members of society who have proven themselves to be predatory criminals or have been diagnosed with serious mental health issues and would harm themselves or others can’t purchase firearms.


•I support Mandatory Sentencing and Firearm Enhancements when firearms are used in the commission of a violent crime.


•I suspect that concerns related in particular, to Military Type Semi Automatic Rifles will be significantly reduced if the provisions I have discussed can be realized.


•Over time I have evaluated, discussed and sought diverse viewpoints into this topic of Gun Control.



With the above points said, I have concluded over time that we all want the same thing: Safe, secure communities while protecting and respecting the constitutional rights of ALL of our citizens. This can only be achieved by open, frank and deliberative discussion on uncomfortable topics and a willingness to work together to achieve these goals.


I would ask of my counterparts across this state and the nation to allow the discussion and vigorous debate within our legislative bodies to occur and to allow it to occur in a civil, reasoned environment. The three pillars of our government as created in our constitution must be supported in their purposes and no one who holds the Office of Sheriff can pick and choose which laws to enforce or ignore. We all swore to protect and defend the Constitution and government of the United State and the Constitution and government of our States. At the end of the day, each of our jobs as Sheriffs is to follow and enforce the law, not to create the law.


-Sheriff Michael Haley


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Here are the most recent story comments.View All

bask7 - 2/5/2013 9:36 PM
0 Votes
These Lawmen are an embarrassment to Nevada! What are we teaching our children? You can pick & choose which laws to obey!

DaveP - 2/5/2013 10:07 AM
0 Votes
Mike Haley will only support your right to keep and bear arms when it suits his political needs. Just look at his history and his rants about "why does anyone need large capacity magazines' to see his politics. Hint, IHOP shooting, Carson City (not even his jurisdiction). Also, under his tutelage, the CCW permitting process has NOT been streamlined, it's slowed down to a crawl. But hey, don't listen to me, try it yourself. And of course, like the politician he is, he will rebuff everything said about him because he's Mike Haley! Baloney! Don't you buy it! Look at his record and the next time he's up for election, have an honest look at the other guy, whomever that may be.

javabarbarian - 2/4/2013 11:03 PM
0 Votes
Not good enough. I agree with wilson this sounds like CYA. No one is asking you to create law, but we are asking you to not enforce federal laws which are clearly unconstitutional, such as the proposal Feinstein & the president are pushing now. Your oath to the Constitution and duty to protect our liberties as citizens trumps any mere law.

wilson - 2/1/2013 2:31 PM
0 Votes
Haley sounds a bit iffy to me. Sounds like a liberal and as a politician, and Sheriff’s are, he’s just trying to cover his butt with the pro second amendment residents in his county. Don’t expect much from him and he hasn’t been put on the CSOPA site yet so his words mean nothing. Just another politician protecting his voter base!

lindag - 1/29/2013 4:00 PM
0 Votes
thank-you mike!!!!!!!!!!hope you have enough funding to do this-----i got a protection order posted 2 1/2 years ago---but i would bet that "he" is still packing--a background check and update with probation would take of my fear factor, thank you truly for my safety--thanks for all the "drive-bys" on my house the last week.
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