Editor’s note: The Record erroneously printed a duplicate version of a front page story under this headline in the March 8 edition. Below is the correct story.
Lincoln County commissioners discussed the idea of joining Elko and Eureka counties as a Second Amendment sanctuary county, a declaration of defiance of state gun law.
During commissioner reports at the end of the county commission meeting March 4, Jared Brackenbury said that Eureka and Elko are in the process of creating a Second Amendment sanctuary county.
As reported in the Elko Daily News Feb. 25, commissioners there have also briefly discussed the idea.
Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza told the paper he felt that Nevada Senate Bill 143, signed into law by Governor Steve Sisolak Feb. 15, and scheduled to take effect Jan. 2, 2020, dealing with background checks for gun purchasers was “a bad bill that is not enforceable.”
He also said he had heard that other counties in Nevada will be expressing their own disagreements with SB 143.
Lincoln County has not taken a stand yet, but Elko and Eureka have deemed SB 143 unconstitutional.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said he supported the efforts of other counties but felt commissioners, including those in Lincoln County, should go about it differently. “Make it a county ordinance first,” he said. “That way I am abiding by the ordinance in not supporting the measure. I don’t like the thought of just saying I’m not enforcing this law.”
Lee also noted he thought SB 143 “will not do anything to stop gun violence and how will it be enforced? How do you enforce person A selling to his neighbor or relative in his own front room without a background check? And thirdly, if you do enforce something like that, you’re immediately making two criminals out of otherwise completely law-abiding citizens. I don’t think that is right.”
Sheriff Narvaiza told the Elko Daily News, “White Pine’s on board; Eureka, Douglas, Lander and a couple other counties down south are on board for this. The support has just been overwhelming.”
He added, “It is a bill that does nothing for anybody. Nothing, nothing whatsoever. All it would do is add an additional burden to honest gun owners.”
The Daily News article noted, “In the past several months many counties and a few cities in other states have passed resolutions saying they are Second Amendment sanctuaries that are not in support of and will not enforce particular gun laws that have been recently passed by their legislatures.”
Advocates of the bill said a major goal of the legislation is to close the “gun -show loophole” which allows people to purchase a firearm at a gun show without a background check. Nevada SB 143 applies to every private gun sale.
Brackenbury said Lincoln County commissioners will look more into the issue and see if joining with the other counties “might cause any huge repercussions.”
Per District Attorney Dylan Frehner’s advice, Brackenbury and Emergency Management Director Eric Holt will gather further information on what Elko and Eureka are doing about the matter.
Brackenbury thought the item might appear on the April 1 commission agenda.