While gun laws are lax nationwide, they are astonishingly so in the state of Nevada.
In Nevada, there is no purchasing permit required and no need to register or license handguns, rifles, and shotguns. There is no need to have a permit when carrying rifles and shotguns, and there is no limit on the number of firearms an individual can possess.
Just to make that very clear, any individual, regardless of criminal past, mental health, or location, can own and carry as many guns – including the most deadly – at any given time in Nevada.
Even though Stephen Paddock, the perpetrator of Sunday’s events didn’t have a criminal past, it is important to note that under these laws even those with dangerous pasts can own as many guns as they so desire.
Think about that, because if a person with a history of assault so happened to get angry and wanted to cause real damage to someone, they could. They could have an arsenal at their disposal, and it would all be protected under the United States’ twisted idea of liberty.
The astonishing ease in which to attain deadly weapons in Nevada doesn’t stop there though. There is no mandatory waiting period before residents can purchase a firearm, someone could walk in one day and pick one up right then and there. They could also fill their pockets to the brim with bullets, because in Nevada, there’s no magazine limit for assault rifles.
Furthermore, semi-automatic weapons and machine guns are legal in Nevada, and the transfer or possession of 50-caliber rifles and larger-capacity ammunition magazines is also legal in the state.
To those Americans who adamantly defend the legal ability to own semi-automatic weapons, I have one question: Is your selfish desire to have a big toy more important than hundreds of lives?
In seven of the last eight high-profile mass shootings, perpetrators were armed with assault-style rifles. Their attractiveness in the field of combat makes them too dangerous for civilian life; the ease at which they can mow down a crowd is unnecessary and frankly inhumane that it is legal in our modern society.
Not only can you carry as many firearms on you as you want in Nevada, you can hide them, too. In Nevada, a “shall issue” state, anyone who is qualified to possess a handgun under state and federal law will be approved to get a concealed carry permit.
All you have to do is take an eight-hour concealed firearm permit course in order to conceal firearms in public, and those restrictions are actually stricter than other concealed weapon permits in other states.
States like Florida and Arizona just require weapons handling training and a couple lectures to be able to conceal firearms.
There is no good reason why it should be this easy to have deadly weapons on you, no matter who you are. It takes longer for tax-paying residents of the United States to earn their citizenship than it does for dangerous individuals to acquire, arm, and carry as many dangerous firearms as they want.
These laws, or lack thereof, are an embarrassment to public safety, and yes, stricter laws do carry results.
“Within the United States, a wide array of empirical evidence indicates that more guns in a community leads to more homicide,” David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, wrote in Private Guns, Public Health.
America, I beg you: Rethink your priorities.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters/John Sommers