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Flowers lay on the ground near the Route 91 Festival grounds on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 following a deadly shooting that took place late Sunday night. Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent

By Randy and Traci Strong

As a family that survived the events of 1 October, we respectfully disagree with Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Las Vegas) that more gun laws — including giving cities and counties the ability to make their own firearms laws — would have stopped the October 1 shooting or another such tragedy.

My wife and daughter, Traci and Kailyn, were attendees at the Route 91 concert on October 1, 2017, and were directly affected by the horrific shooting. After hearing from them and learning they were shaken but safe, and after several unsuccessful attempts to try to get them away from the scene and home, I felt my best service would be to go to Sunrise Hospital where I worked as a pharmacy manager.  

It was worse than a military MASH unit. There were victims and dead bodies in the hallways and everywhere. Sunrise Hospital handled over 200 victims, more than twice as many as any other hospital in the valley, approximately 40 percent of the total number of victims. We worked hard to provide needed drugs and medical services. Around 3 a.m. when things at the crime scene were stabilized, I returned to the Strip and was able to reunite with my wife and daughter who were both very shaken and traumatized. Although, thankfully, they were not physically injured, the trauma and their emotional experience during and after the massacre was truly intense.

I share these details to underline that we were deeply affected by the events of 1 October. But Jauregui’s proposed bill would not have prevented the events or trauma of that night. It would, however, make a lot of lives more difficult, including ours.

For years, because our family enjoys the outdoors, including, hunting, camping, fishing and driving around exploring this great state, and because we were gun owners residing in North Las Vegas who sometimes ventured into the City of Las Vegas or Clark County (where different gun laws were in place), we were fearful that we might be arrested or that our legal firearms would be seized by virtue of the simple act of driving from one city, where we were carrying legally, to just across the street, where we were considered criminals.

In 2015, the legislature finally corrected the error, making state gun laws that applied to all citizens and ending the multiple gun ordinances and codes that we and others were subjected to on a daily basis. We rejoiced, were relieved and finally felt free.

We are opposed to AB 291 because allowing cities, towns and counties to make their own gun laws will return us to the myriad complexity of ordinances and codes that threatened our rights and freedoms on a daily basis just for the simple act of driving from one governmental jurisdiction to another while trying to live our lives and enjoy the great outdoors of Nevada.

Randy and Traci Strong live in North Las Vegas.

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