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Bill creating 'Red Flag' protective orders for temporarily firearm seizure again won't advance in Legislature

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
IndyBlogLegislature
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Various handguns as seen on display inside Discount Firearms & Ammo in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2018.

A bill to allow “Red Flag” laws — which allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily seize firearms from a potentially dangerous person — will again fail to become law in Nevada after dying on Friday’s deadline day.

Sponsored by Democratic Sens. Julia Ratti and Nicole Cannizzaro, SB120 would have implemented a process wherein a family member or law enforcement could petition a court to receive a temporary protection order requiring an individual displaying “high-risk” behavior to temporarily surrender their firearms.

Although a similar measure passed out of the Senate before failing to advance in the 2017 session, the 2019 version of the legislation never received a hearing and died on Friday’s deadline for bills to make it out of committee. Ratti, who sponsored the 2017 legislation, said she had no plans to try to bring the concept back through amendments to other bills or other legislative maneuvers to bring the concept back to life.

“As with every legislative session, too many bills come out,” Ratti said. “They come in, but they don’t all make it out.”

A total of 14 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted similar “Red Flag” policies, according to the pro gun-safety organization Everytown for Gun Safety. During the 2018 campaign, then-candidate Steve Sisolak said he would support such a policy as part of a package of “commonsense gun safety reforms.”

Although state Senate Republicans unanimously opposed the bill in 2017, some Republicans and aligned groups have warmed to the idea; former Attorney General Adam Laxalt included the policy as part of a package of school security recommendations, and the National Rifle Association published a video in March 2018 calling for greater adoption of “risk protection orders” to stop “dangerous people before they act.”

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