Should Nevada Adopt Gun Laws to Protect Its Tourists, Not Its Gun Sales?

Should Nevada Adopt Gun Laws to Protect Its Tourists, Not Its Gun Sales?

Nevada has some of the loosest gun laws in the country. State law allows open carry, but you need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. No state permit is required to buy a shotgun, rifle, or handgun, nor is a permit required to possess one.

The population of Nevada is 2.7 million people. Yet they welcome 43 million visitors a year. Las Vegas city has 584,000, North Las Vegas city has 217,000. Nearby Henderson has 258,000. Reno in the north has 225,000. The state has about 412,000 jobs.

In 2013, the Gross State Product was $132 billion. In 2011, 12.5% of the GDP came from tourism. In 2014, tourism contributed $3.1 billion to the state budget. Per capita taxes in Las Vegas ranked 49th out of 51 chosen metropolitan districts. The gaming industry and tourists pay 33% of the sales taxes.

They had a vote last November on Question 1, requiring private gun sales to go through a licensed gun dealer, allowing for background checks. It barely passed, by 558,631 to 548,732, or a difference of about 10,000 votes, or 0.9%. The FBI refused to allow its records to be accessed by Nevada, so the Nevada Attorney General suspended the law. In other states, the state does its own background checks. The ratio of the number of no votes to the visiting population is 549,000 to 43 million, or 1.3%. Of course, the visitors might be there just for a few days, while Nevadans live there year round. But the safety of the visitors should be considered, rather than just the convenience of Nevada gun collectors. Las Vegas is not only a US destination, but one for visitors from around the world, who are not used to a gun culture.

Everyone in Nevada realizes that in order to keep up tourism and gaming, they have to reassure potential visitors and convention organizers. The Mayor of Las Vegas was on TV trying to both say that such events were not preventable, and that Las Vegas was a safe city for tourists.

In the case in point, of the massive attack on the country music concert with 22,000 people, the Congress has not allowed the FBI to keep computer records of gun sales, just looked up paper files. So they could not have found that someone had collected 47 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition in massive magazines, and a dozen bump stocks to transform semi-automatic rifles into automatic type weapons. The statement that Stephen Paddock did not stand out or give a warning in any way is ridiculous when you look at his guns, ammunition, automatic weapons converters, and his explosives purchases, most since October, 2016.

It is wasteful that Homeland Security has a budget of $40.6 billion, and 240,000 employees, and is prevented by the NRA from collecting the records that it needs to identify what will become the new plan in gun assaults?

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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