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Top Story

January 27, 2006

NO ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIRED

Concealed weapons law changed

By GINA B. GOOD
PVT


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Nevadans who carry concealed firearms are happy - and Robby Brentlinger, owner of The Master At Arms gun shop is "downright amazed" - that the U.S. Department of Justice repealed their Oct. 17, 2005 rule change regarding background checks for Nevada's concealed weapon permit holders.

As of Jan. 5, a gun owner with a current concealed weapon permit will again be exempt from additional background checks when purchasing firearms.

To obtain a "Cary Concealed Weapon" permit, commonly called a CCW, firearms owners must pass a background investigation, register their fingerprints in a federal database and pay fees to the state and local authorities.

In Nye County, a total of $105 must be paid to the Nye County Sheriff's Office to obtain the five-year concealed weapon permit. According to Assistant Sheriff Rick Marshall, $45 goes to the state for fingerprinting, with the remaining $60 paid to the Nye County Sheriff's Office to conduct a background investigation.

To buy a firearm, a background check must be completed on the purchaser.

The gun shop must call NICS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, before the gun can be transferred to the buyer.

That has been the case since 1998 when the national Brady Law took effect. However, until last October, holders of concealed weapon permits in Nevada were excused from obtaining another background check when buying additional firearms.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Nevada CCW permit once again qualifies as an alternative to the background check.

The Bureau reported on their Web site that "recognition of the permits as a Brady alternative is based on the fact that Nevada conducted background checks ... and denied a permit to anyone prohibited under federal, state or local law."

In March 2004, the Bureau began a review of all states that qualified to use concealed weapon permits as alternatives to NICS background checks. On Jan. 5, in an open letter to all Nevada firearms dealers, the Bureau stated that initially Nevada was not able to meet the statutory and regulatory requirements.

As reported in the Oct. 16, 2005 edition of the Pahrump Valley Times, the Bureau's audit found that sheriff's departments in Nevada were not performing federally required annual updates on permit holders.

Frank Adams, executive director of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, said law enforcement lacks the staff to perform the updates.

However, locally, Marshall pointed out that annual updates are not required under the state statue dealing with issuance or denial of Nevada's concealed firearm permit.

Since then, "The Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Nevada County Sheriffs have entered a Memorandum of Understanding" addressing issue, according to Lewis Raden, assistant director of enforcement programs and services for the U.S. Department of Justice. Accordingly, the concealed carry permit again qualifies as an alternative to a background check.










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