Hof: Attack on gun rights goes unopposed by Nye County legislators


There is no doubt – NO DOUBT! – where the majority of Nye County citizens stand on the Second Amendment.

Question 1, a 2016 gun-control “background check” ballot initiative in Nevada, pushed by liberal former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, was crushed – CRUSHED! – by Nye County voters, 74 percent to 26 percent. But thanks to ill-informed, soft-on-guns urban voters in neighboring Clark County, the measure passed … by a whisker.

On the other hand, despite winning only a bare majority in Nye County, Nevada became the latest in a string of states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. However, unbeknownst to most citizens, the legalization of marijuana – whether for medical or recreational purposes – has infringed upon our God-given right to keep and bear arms, thanks to background checks.

As the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Steve Sebelius pointed out in a recent column, “Question 11(e) on ATF Form 4473 asks would-be gun buyers if they are unlawful users of marijuana.”

And because marijuana continues to be illegal under federal law, regardless of its legalization in Nevada, users of marijuana – even medical marijuana patients – are compelled to answer “yes.”

At which point they immediately lose their Second Amendment rights. Because if they answer this background check question honestly, gun stores will refuse to sell them a firearm.

Which is just…plain…nuts.

And you can thank the Nevada Legislature. As Mr. Sebelius went on to explain …

“Ah, but what of the neglected 10th Amendment, which specifies the powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people? Didn’t the people just exercise their power by declaring marijuana legal for adults?

“They may have, but Nevada state law is still unmistakably clear: NRS 202.360(1)(d) says people may not own firearms if they are an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance. And the definition of controlled substance, the statute specifies, is that contained in federal law.”

So it seems some self-described supporters of the right to keep and bear arms in the Legislature have been asleep at the switch in Carson City.

Efforts to remove marijuana from the federal list of banned controlled substances are an issue for Congress. And prospects don’t look good with the nomination of a hard-core drug warrior, Jeff Sessions, as President Trump’s new attorney general.

But there’s absolutely no reason for the 2017 Nevada Legislature not to assert our state’s rights and amend this anti-Second Amendment provision in our own law.

A cursory review of the submitted Bill Draft Requests (BDRs) by Nye County’s elected legislators – State Sen. Pete Goicoechea and Assemblyman James Oscarson – doesn’t indicate any such request by them in defense of our gun rights.

Let’s hope that changes when the Legislature reconvenes in a couple of weeks.

Dennis Hof is a successful Nevada businessman, author, philanthropist, star of an award-winning reality TV series on HBO and president of the Home of Freedom PAC. He can be reached at DennisHof.com