SENATE Committee on Judiciary

Seventieth Session

April 5, 1999


The subcommittee meeting of the Senate Committee on Judiciary was called to order by Chairman Maurice Washington, at 9:08 a.m., on Monday, April 5, 1999, in Room 2149 of the Legislative Building, Carson City, Nevada. Exhibit A is the Agenda. Exhibit B is the Attendance Roster. All exhibits are available and on file at the Research Library of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.


Senator Maurice Washington, Chairman

Senator Mike McGinness

Senator Terry Care


Assemblyman Lynn C. Hettrick, Douglas County, Carson City Assembly District No. 39


Brad Wilkinson, Committee Counsel

Allison Combs, Committee Policy Analyst

Maddie Fischer, Administrative Assistant

Laura Adler, Committee Secretary


James F. Nadeau, Lobbyist, Captain, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office

Dennis DeBacco, Supervisor, Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, Nevada Highway Patrol Division, Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety

Ivan R. Ashleman II, Lobbyist, McCarran International Airport, and Clark County

Al Baumruck, Lieutenant, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department

Janine Hansen, Lobbyist, Nevada Eagle Forum

John W. Riggs Sr., Lobbyist, Gun Owners in Nevada

Robert E. Smith, Firearms Instructor

Lucille Lusk, Lobbyist, Nevada Concerned Citizens

Jon Dietmeier, Firearms Safety Instructor, Owner, The Edge Shooting Academy

Gemma Greene, Lobbyist, Nevada District Attorneys’ Association

Chairman Washington opened the hearing on Senate Bill (S.B.) 420 and Assembly Bill (A.B.) 166. He said Assemblyman Lynn C. Hettrick, Douglas County, Carson City Assembly District No. 39 will be testifying on both bills. Chairman Washington said he would take testimony on A.B. 166 first. He noted there is a work document containing the proposed amendments and changes to the bills (Exhibit C).

ASSEMBLY BILL 166: Expands locations into which permittee may carry concealed firearm. (BDR 15-351)

SENATE BILL 420: Revises provisions governing permits to carry concealed firearms. (BDR 15-1243)

Allison Combs, Committee Policy Analyst, Research Division, Legislative Counsel Bureau, noted the first two amendments were proposed by Assemblyman Hettrick, and are similar to proposed amendments in S.B. 420. The first amendment is to, "Revise limitation on number of firearms that may be carried under concealed weapon permit." She said the second amendment amends Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 202.3657 to delete the reference to no more than two specific firearms and replace with, "… any firearm of the same type and of equal or smaller caliber …." The proposed amendment deletes the permit form currently provided for in statute, and allows the sheriff to issue the permit prominently displaying "State of Nevada." The proposed amendment also states, "… the permit may contain information required by county ordinance." Ms. Combs stated the final proposed amendment was made by the Clark County Department of Aviation to, "Prohibit permittees from carrying concealed weapons in commercial airports."

James F. Nadeau, Lobbyist, Captain, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, said the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association (NSCA) stated they are not comfortable with the amended language. He said the NSCA liked the original language that requires listing the make, model, and caliber of firearm. He said the NSCA considered how to list several firearms on the permit, and decided the permittee need only show a qualifying certificate for each firearm that they own. That information would go to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, which is presently building a "carry a concealed weapon permit" (CCWP) database. Through this database law enforcement can easily check and verify if the person is qualified in using the firearm being carried, even though the specific weapon is not listed on the CCWP.

Assemblyman Lynn C. Hettrick, Douglas County, Carson City Assembly District No. 39, stated he appreciated the NSCA’s concerns, and their offer of a solution. He said he had no objection with the solution, except for a possible fiscal impact. He conveyed his research showed 30 states have CCWP laws. Of those states 9 do not require training to obtain a permit, and their incidents of accidents, crime or other were no higher per capita than the states that do require certification. Assemblyman Hettrick acknowledged law enforcement’s concerns, especially since they have a high-liability threshold, and by the nature of the job are more likely to draw a weapon than would any CCWP person. He stated he appreciates their efforts, but statistically it does not change anything, and only creates more work. However, he said, if the committee is comfortable with the database concept, then he would not object.

Dennis DeBacco, Supervisor, Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, Nevada Highway Patrol Division, Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety, said the database concept came at a good time for his department. They are in the final phase of developing the software application to convert from a manual to a computerized tracking system accessible only to law enforcement agencies throughout Nevada on a 24-hour basis; otherwise the CCWP information would be kept confidential.

Chairman Washington stated a concern is the possible fiscal impact this will have on the state. Mr. DeBacco responded there is no need to show a fiscal impact as the background investigation fee is designed to offset the cost of setting up and maintaining the database. Additionally, he said, the application development and operation have already been included in this year’s budget request for record and identification services.

Chairman Washington asked for clarification as to what the CCWP fee covered. Captain Nadeau responded it was a one-time fee for the criminal history background investigation, and had nothing to do with how many firearms a person was certified to carry.

Assemblyman Hettrick said Mr. DeBacco indicated the CCWP database file would be available 24 hours a day to law enforcement statewide. He noted that one county’s ordinances require the serial number of the firearm in order to register, he wanted to know if that would be a problem in the database.

Mr. DeBacco responded the information will be available to law enforcement agencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is incorporated into the existing Criminal Justice Information System the same as warrant information and criminal history record information. As for the serial number, the system will accommodate any information allowed by statute.

Assemblyman Hettrick stated the second part of his amendment specifically addresses that in section 4, subsection 3, the CCWP will prominently display "State of Nevada;" then states, "… the permit may contain information required by county ordinance." He said Clark County has a requirement to record the serial number of the firearm. He said he has no problem with that, but would like it left as a county ordinance and not made state law.

Senator Care questioned on page 2, line 19, regarding public building, if permission would be revocable. Assemblyman Hettrick urged permission to carry a concealed weapon in a public building would be regulated by the building manager as to whether a person can carry and for how long permission would be granted. He believes anyone who seeks permission would get a fair hearing from any reasonable person.

Chairman Washington recapped the discussions for clarity. He said it appears the subcommittee has dealt with the first two amendments satisfactorily; the equal or smaller caliber is acceptable to all, the central repository will accommodate those provisions regarding the type of firearm being carried. Captain Nadeau noted for clarification the requirement of listing each make, model, and caliber will be left in the bill. He said that is what the Nevada District Attorneys’ Association (NDAA) recommends.

Chairman Washington acknowledged that was correct. He reiterated to delete limitation as to number of weapons that can be registered; but to require make, model, and caliber information. He noted the CCWP will prominently display "State of Nevada" and serial numbers will be left to each county’s ordinance. Chairman Washington noted the final proposed amendment to A.B. 166, "Prohibit permittees from carrying concealed weapons in commercial airports." He said the Clark County Department of Aviation proposed this. Senator Care referenced the e-mail (Exhibit D) from Randall H. Walker, Director, McCarran International Airport, Clark County, regarding the numerous entrances/exits, prohibitive costs to monitor, and potential breach of secured areas.

Assemblyman Hettrick noted that just like any public building, except for the loading areas, which are federally regulated, the airport is a public building. He said a review of the statistics shows a public building is safer when CCWP is allowed. He expressed concern that if exemptions are made, it could get out of hand. He said the statistics on 30 states that have CCWP show only 4 states have restrictions on airports; the rest of the airports are open public buildings. Assemblyman Hettrick emphasized he did not see a need to exempt airports. He suggested the people on the aviation board need to see the statistics, and then they would realize the airport would be safer if CCWP were allowed, not more dangerous.

Ivan R. Ashleman, II, Lobbyist, McCarran International Airport, and Clark County, stated the crowds at the airports look like a mob scene, it makes it difficult to post signs that will be seen, let alone read. He said for example, the numerous large "Stand to the Right" signs posted along the people walkways, plus constant public address announcements, and people are still all over the walkways; the general public pays no attention. He stressed that is why the aviation board believes the signs prohibiting CCWP will be ineffective; and if they are boarding a flight, they will have to surrender the firearm anyway.

Senator Care commented he has lived in Las Vegas since 1979 and cannot recall any incident at McCarran International Airport that involved a firearm. Mr. Ashleman responded security routinely takes firearms from people at the gates, as well as other types of weapons. He noted the airport has a lot of security and does not experience a lot of crime problems.

Chairman Washington wondered since statistically there is little problem at the airports, would it be better to allow the counties to deal with the CCWP and public buildings issue at the local level in placing signs and developing ordinances. Assemblyman Hettrick emphasized it could get out of hand to allow each county to establish ordinances. He noted that only 3-4 percent of the population will get CCWPs, in fact the statistics show the highest number of CCWPs issued was 6 percent in only one state. He stressed these are not the people that cause the problems. Assemblyman Hettrick stated he agreed with Mr. Ashleman that since the signs are ineffectual not to post them; the building will be safer. He reiterated the people who come to drop off and pick up family, friends and business associates are not going to cause a disturbance or commit a crime. He said what people seem to not understand is those who get a permit feel some need for personal safety. The permittee is not going to do anything to lose that permit, and that is why these public buildings are ultimately safer if the CCWP holders are allowed to go in and out of the buildings. He stressed this bill will do nothing to adversely affect safety in public buildings.

Senator Care indicated he could see Assemblyman Hettrick’s point about CCWPs being safe, but questioned whether someone would panic or even engage in a scuffle over the firearm, should they glimpse a firearm being carried by another person. Mr. Ashleman responded the aviation board has done a great deal to address the security of the airport, and with all due respect to Assemblyman Hettrick and the statistics, the aviation board feels they have been successfully managing the airport and want to keep doing it their way. Mr. Ashleman stated the airport should have the right to control their own enterprise. He surmised the aviation board can observe the implementation, and the next Legislature can then change the bill, but for now they should be exempted.

Assemblyman Hettrick noted there is nothing in this bill that prevents the airport from putting up a sign right now. He said if the contention is nobody reads signs, then why bother with any signs. He called attention to the realization that legal people are honest people. He stated just because the airport does not have it now, does not mean they should never have CCWP.

Chairman Washington indicated there will have to be a consensus of the full committee on the airport’s desire to continue with their own operation. He emphasized he will argue the case for Assemblyman Hettrick before the full committee.



Senator McGinness asked for a recap of the amendments as decided.

Ms. Combs restated the restriction on firearms: the applicant would submit a qualification certificate indicating the firearms in which training has been received, and the qualification certificate would include the identification of the make, model, and caliber; however, that information would not appear on the face of the permit. All that information would be sent to the central repository for collection and an automated database, which the repository is currently developing. The repository indicated the fiscal note would be minimal, since the current fees in the statute would cover them. She said the second part of the permit form will come out of statute; however, it will require the "State of Nevada" be prominently displayed on the permit form, and county ordinance will determine what information will go into that permit. That information entered into the central repository database would then be disseminated to the counties for their database and information on the permit.

Chairman Washington added that the chair supports the arguments of Assemblyman Hettrick; but said he is aware of the concern of the McCarran International Airport in Clark County, and that they are currently supplying their own security measures. Chairman Washington called for the vote.



Chairman Washington closed the hearing on A.B. 166, and opened the hearing on S.B. 420.

SENATE BILL 420: Revises provisions governing permits to carry concealed firearms. (BDR 15-1243)

Ms. Combs reviewed the proposed amendments (Exhibit C) to the bill. The amendment to section 1 provides that the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association will determine suitability with other states’ requirements. She said the next amendment recognizes out-of-state permits. The third proposed amendment provides for a temporary permit sticker to recognize out-of-state permits acceptable in Nevada, with a small fee to cover costs. The fourth amendment reinstates the language on page 3, lines 19-20, and page 4, lines 3-13, regarding criminal activity. She stated the next amendment protects the use of the social security number on the permit. Ms. Combs said the amendment proposed during the hearing limits the firearms to handguns. The next amendment makes the ineligibility period consistent by changing it from 3 years to 5 years. The next amendment provides other states’ permits are recognized only if they recognize Nevada’s. The next amendment reinstates language to require certified instruction in the firearm to be permitted. The final amendment addresses the exemption for honorably retired peace officers to obtain a permit.

Chairman Washington noted that the NRA and the sheriffs association proposed the first five amendments. Captain Nadeau stated the sheriffs and chiefs are in agreement with the amendments.

Chairman Washington noted the handgun limitation amendment and proposed amendment regarding firearm instruction were covered in A.B. 166.

Al Baumruck, Lieutenant, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, stated he has had a chance to review the reciprocity laws for other states (Exhibit E) provided by John W. Riggs, Sr., Lobbyist, Gun Owners in Nevada. He said there is also reciprocity language in federal laws that are before Congress. He concluded in light of that information, he did not think the "substantially similar" amendment would be necessary. Chairman Washington said that amendment would be stricken.

Janine Hansen, Lobbyist, Nevada Eagle Forum, said in speaking with Assemblyman Hettrick that she has become aware of an additional concern. She stated that in S.B. 484, the Nevada criminal history repository will be required to share not only criminal history information, but also noncriminal histories for noncriminal justice uses.

SENATE BILL 484: Ratifies National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact. (BDR 14-1635)

Ms. Hansen said her concern involves de facto gun-registration information being shared on a national basis. She emphasized she did not know how to protect against the de facto usage. She noted there was a bill in the Assembly that somewhat addressed this issue, but it has not been finalized at this time. She stated she was significantly concerned that the CCWP information in the state repository will eventually be shared with federal agencies, and that would make it de facto gun registration. She said there is considerable concern on a national level with the privacy issue. She said several different federal registries are being amassed at this time.

Chairman Washington commented that S.B. 484 left the judiciary committee with no recommendation. He said there were major concerns that Nevada may be giving up some of its state’s rights to the federal government. He wanted to know if the CCWPs could be protected from going on the national register.

Mr. DeBacco stated the interstate compact agreement does not in any way fall into that compact agreement. He said the interstate compact agreement allows employers to search the national criminal history record files for disqualifying criminal history records that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) might have. He said the concealed weapons permit is not, by definition, either in state or nationally a criminal history record; therefore that type of information will not be exchanged. The interstate compact agreement simply allows states to exchange information electronically as opposed to manually. He emphasized the CCWP does not apply as presented.

Chairman Washington asked Mr. Wilkinson to research and craft language that would help to make sure the CCWP information is in statute. He said that language would make everyone feel a lot more secure. Mr. DeBacco reiterated that as stated in A.B. 166 the CCWP information would be for Nevada law enforcement only. There are no plans to pass that information to the national systems. He said including language in the bill would give the repository clear guidelines.

Ms. Hansen stated many people are significantly concerned, because of the new registries being created in which the federal government is having many of them set up by the states for federal access. She said invasion of individual privacy rights is a major concern.

John W. Riggs Sr., Lobbyist, Gun Owners in Nevada, said the gun owners agreed with most of the language in the bill and the proposed amendments. He noted that if a person is, by law, properly carrying a firearm in a public place, such as an airport, nobody would see it; it is not readily recognized. He emphasized that one of the things to remember during considerations for this bill, is it is for law-abiding citizens, not criminals; criminals do not seek permits for their weapons. This bill is to make it better for law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm not just in Nevada but anywhere in the United States. He called attention to U.S. Senate Bill, SB 218, which is before Congress to cover police officers carrying a firearm throughout the United States. He said that is a reciprocity bill, and just recently an amendment was added to the bill to include the civilian population. He added the House of Representatives side of Congress also has a bill proposed by the gun dealers.

Mr. Riggs voiced that some people want to carry a gun for protection, and for protection of other citizens whom criminals may attack. These people are most sensitive to the law, and fully aware they could lose their right to carry a firearm. He said that not specifying a specific firearm on the permit is helpful, because many permitted people own more than one firearm. He noted that to qualify for a CCWP is not a right; it is a privilege. He observed that A.B. 166 was one of the best bills in a long time to address CCWP.

Mr. Riggs said the guns owners are definitely against listing specific gun serial numbers. He said when the CCWP bill passed in the 1995 Legislative Session, there was a gentlemen’s agreement with law enforcement that there would be no serial numbers. He said the gun would be described only by make, model, and caliber. He stressed listing serial numbers is a form of registration that entices higher authorities to want to take the weapons.

Mr. Riggs iterated a universal permit that clearly says "State of Nevada CCW Permit," and date would be an asset. He checked on the cost of 100,000 permits and they would be about $2,600. He elucidated standardizing the permit and the process would make it easier on law enforcement anywhere in Nevada. He noted the use of a temporary CCWP sticker for out-of-state visitors is an excellent way to ensure they will not be misused. The stickers cannot be removed without destroying them, so they are not transferable. He observed it would also help if they were dated for limited time use.

Chairman Washington said he understands it is already in statute that CCWPs are confidential. Bradley A. Wilkinson, Committee Counsel, Legal Counsel Division, Legislative Counsel Bureau, summarized Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 202.3662, which says the information is confidential except as otherwise provided. The exceptions are records regarding an applicant or permittee can be released to a law enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting an investigation or a prosecution, and statistical abstracts of data can be released regarding the number of applications received and permits issued. They cannot be released for any noncriminal justice purposes. He said as that pertains to the compact, that information would not be released under the compact. First of all, because it is not the information received under the compact, and, secondly, it would already be prohibited by state law from being released under the compact. He concluded privacy rights are not an issue.

Chairman Washington stated to make sure everyone is comfortable regarding privacy rights, he would make sure it is put in writing that that information is held confidential and not released to the federal repository. Chairman Washington asked for clarification of how the issuing of a temporary CCWP sticker would be handled.

Captain Nadeau said he anticipates the sticker would be issued if a person enters the state and possesses a permit from a reciprocal state, and reports to the first sheriff’s office upon entering the state. That sheriff’s office would perform a cursory criminal history investigation before issuing the temporary sticker. He suggested the sticker should be of the variety used by some retailers that break apart when removed. This style of tag would discourage people from transferring the sticker to another permit. He stated there would be a small fee paid by the permittee to cover cost of the criminal history and issuing the sticker. Captain Nadeau suggested 48-72 hours as the length of time the temporary CCWP sticker would be valid.

Senator McGinness noted a lot of visitors come during the 3-day weekend holidays. He said a 72-hour temporary permit would be a reasonable time. Captain Nadeau commented the 72-hour temporary permit time was workable. He stated that no matter which county issues the temporary CCWP sticker, the sticker would be good throughout the state.



Robert E. Smith, Firearms Instructor, said he was one of the original authors of the bill that Senator Washington submitted. He noted that if sometime after receiving the CCWP the person purchases another firearm, all they need to do is qualify for the certificate of proficiency and submit it for inclusion in the central repository. He noted the sticker process should be made as simple as possible, because right now the CCWP and sheriff’s offices are only open Monday through Friday. He suggested the after-hours and weekend visitors could get a temporary sticker at the nearest sheriff’s substation, which always has a person at the desk with computer access to the records.

Lucille Lusk, Lobbyist, Nevada Concerned Citizens, said she wanted to know how the out-of-state permittees would know they would need to get a sticker. She saw that as the only area remaining to be addressed. Ms. Lusk commented on A.B. 166 regarding the airport and signs. She noted CCWP permittees would already be sensitized to looking for signs. In that context, signs would work well, especially for an airport that does not want CCWPs.

Jon Dietmeier, Firearms Safety Instructor, Owner, The Edge Shooting Academy, said his academy is one of the facilities that qualifies people for the permit. He noted there are a lot of contractors and other business people regularly traveling between counties and coming in and out of the state, who carry a firearm. He emphasized he would like to see the sticker process not require these regular visitors to have to check in every time. He suggested an annually renewable permit arrangement would make it easier on all concerned. He pointed out standardizing the certification process throughout the state would make it easier for instructors and for law enforcement to be sure of the person’s qualifications with a firearm.

Chairman Washington responded the committee would address how to inform the out-of-state permittees about the sticker, and to address the frequent permittee business people. He said it is most likely the regular out-of-state people would qualify for the standard CCW permit. He clarified that the stickers would be needed if a person were going to be in the state longer than 72 hours. If a person’s stay was less than 72 hours, they would not need to obtain a sticker and the permittee could still carry a concealed weapon. The annual sticker would apply to persons who would be in the state longer than 72 hours, but are not residents. The annual sticker would be renewed annually. Chairman Washington noted that standardization of qualifying instruction is not included in any of the bills, and will have to be addressed in the next session, should it prove to be necessary.



Chairman Washington opened the hearing on S.B. 449.

SENATE BILL 449: Requires sheriff to notify spouse of person who applies for issuance or renewal of permit to carry concealed firearm or whose permit is revoked or restored. (BDR 15-824)

Senator Care stated that on behalf of Senator Bob Coffin, Clark County Senatorial District No. 3, he has submitted a memo prepared for him by the Legislative Counsel Bureau. It encapsulates the amendments in the work document. He stressed that Senator Coffin continues to be in support of S.B. 449.

Ms. Combs stated as the bill is currently written it requires the sheriff to notify the spouse of any person who applies for the issuance or renewal of a CCWP. She said the first amendment is to limit the bill to domestic violence situations. It has since been recommended to amend the bill to only require notice if the sheriff takes action to suspend a permit or application under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 202.3657, subsection 5, when a person is charged with domestic violence. She said another amendment expands the application of the bill to persons who are cohabiting or who are divorced. The notification time has been amended from 2 days to 10 days; and also to include the last known address, if available. She said certified mail is amended to first class mail to reduce possible interception. The final amendment deletes the exemption for judges and prosecuting attorneys because other law enforcement officers are not required to obtain CCW permits in this manner. She noted a proposal to notify the victim rather than specifically a spouse, and for law enforcement to personally notify rather than by mail for added security.

Senator Care stated he believed that Senator Coffin would have no objection to narrowing notification to victims rather than to anyone in the household. Chairman Washington noted that by narrowing notification to victims of domestic violence, then it is already covered in statute, which better defines the bill. He noted the suggestion to delete the amendment regarding cohabiting as it is too hard to identify who is and is not cohabiting at any period of time.

Ms. Lusk stated it would help to narrow the notice to victims of domestic violence. By identifying the notice to domestic violence victims, it would automatically include a spouse, a relative, or anyone else who may be associated at the time.

Mr. Wilkinson surmised the exclusion of judges and prosecuting attorneys was because they may not want that information disclosed due to the nature of their work. He said other law enforcement personnel are automatically exempt from the provisions relating to concealed firearm permits. He noted the bill is focusing on victims of crimes.

Mr. Riggs conveyed the Lautenburg law (U.S. Legislation) covers domestic violence and is so stringent that even if a person is booked and later found not guilty, they lose their right to possess a weapon. He said the lost right to a weapon is extended to not having one in the home and to family members. He said it is so stringent, it has affected people in law enforcement, because it is retroactive and goes to a person’s earliest history involving any kind of domestic violence incident or charge.

Senator Care stated he believes the Lautenburg statute requires a conviction, because defendants are cautioned about losing rights when they enter a plea. Mr. Riggs acknowledged he did not know for sure when the person lost their rights. He was basing his comments on statements from others’ personal experience. He has been told that just getting booked is cause to lose the right to possess a weapon. Mr. Riggs stated there is a bill in Congress to repeal the Lautenburg law. Another pending bill to amend the Lautenburg law is to be effective only from the time it became law, because it has removed a large number of law enforcement personnel from active duty.

Gemma Greene, Lobbyist, Nevada District Attorneys’ Association, said she wanted to be sure that prosecuting attorneys are kept in parity with law enforcement regarding concealed weapons.

Chairman Washington said the recommendation is to adopt existing state statutes and confine notification to victims of domestic violence. He said as far as notification is concerned, he would like to leave that to the law enforcement agencies rather than make it a part of statute. He said the exemption for judges and prosecuting attorneys will be deleted.







There being no further testimony, the meeting was adjourned at 11:03 a.m.




Laura Adler,

Committee Secretary





Senator Maurice Washington, Chairman