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Possible gun ban in Pahrump library’s story room

The subject of Second Amendment rights is one that nearly always generates a big reaction from the predominantly Republican communities of Nye County and a recent proposal to possibly ban guns in the story room at the Pahrump Community Library has area conservatives up in arms to protest the idea.

The situation is not all one-sided, with some arguing that there is no need to carry firearms in the sections of the library that are specific to children. Many others, however, are asserting that imposing even one small restriction constitutes a violation of their Second Amendment right to bear arms, including Nye County commissioners and members of the Nye County Republican Central Committee.

The idea to ban firearms in the story room, which is used for a variety of children’s programs, was originally broached at the library board’s Oct. 14 meeting. The discussion was set to be continued at a regularly scheduled library meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

However, Pahrump library board members have confirmed that the Nov. 12 meeting has been canceled due to a family emergency that has taken library director Susan Wonderly unexpectedly out of town.

Library board trustee John Pawlak said the board will be rescheduling the meeting as soon as possible and will hopefully be announcing the rescheduled date within the next week. Residents can look for updates on the rescheduled meeting on the library’s website at www.pahrumplibrary.org

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo brought his opinion of the proposal to light at the commission’s Oct. 15 meeting, telling the public, “There was an item on the local library board to restrict the Second Amendment. My opinion is, it starts small, they want to start it in the children’s reading room but when you block off and quarantine one piece of the library, you virtually lock out the entire library.”

He, Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig and commissioner Donna Cox all attended the library board’s Oct. 14 meeting to speak against the idea, Blundo detailed, with Koenig adding that the situation arose from a complaint from someone who reported feeling uncomfortable with a gun being in the children’s story room.

Following the commission’s Oct. 15 meeting, Blundo also sent out an email to remind the community of a decision made by that body earlier this year.

In March, the commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution outlining the county’s opposition to any and all legislation or regulations that the county feels would infringe upon the citizens’ Second Amendment rights, a move that has prompted many to dub the county as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.”

“We, as the board of county commissioners, voted unanimously to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County,” Blundo, who is among candidates running for the U.S. House, wrote in his statement. “This is exactly how it begins, ban one small piece of the library ‘for the kids’, in practice it bans the entire property. It is my belief to teach, educate and respect firearms, rather than fear. Even in conservative rural areas we must remain vigilant and protect our constitutional rights as citizens.”

Commissioners are not the only ones publicly speaking out in opposition to the proposal either.

The Nye County Republican Central Committee told the Pahrump Valley Times that it is uniting its members in preparation for a Second Amendment Rally on the library campus, to take place the morning of the library board’s rescheduled meeting. The exact time and date for that rally will be announced as soon as the Republican committee learns of the date to which the library board meeting has been moved.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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