Protection order bills advance to Nevada Senate
Two protection order bills designed to restrict gun rights in cases of domestic violence passed a Nevada committee last week, ensuring the proposals’ survival for the remainder of legislative session.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bills 124 and 387 with amendments Friday, just in time for the state Legislature’s committee deadline — meaning any bill not voted out of committee in its originating chamber dies for the 2017 session.
Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, sponsored SB 387 as “one of the most important bills this session” and “a common sense public safety measure” of last resort.
“When we have folks who are in crisis and have access to weapons, we have terrible, terrible outcomes,” Ratti said while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the proposal earlier this month. “It gives law enforcement another arrow in their quiver. It’s a tool that will be used when all other tools have been exhausted.”
Specifically, Ratti’s legislation allows family or other household members to report high risk individuals to law enforcement, who can then seek a court order to remove the individual’s firearms temporarily. The bill defines a high-risk individual as someone who owns a firearm, poses a danger to themselves or others and has threatened violence within the preceding six months or behaved violently.
Courts can issue three different types of protective orders under the proposal: emergency, ex parte and extended — the latter of which could strip a person’s gun rights for up to a year.
“The bottom line for me is too many families are coping with too many tragedies and in a very narrow few cases where the current law enforcement and judicial system doesn’t provide tools, this bill could save a life,” Ratti said.