CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada lawmakers have defeated a measure that would have allowed holders of concealed-weapon permits to bring guns onto college campuses, leading one elected official to storm off the Assembly floor.
Assembly members voted 18-24 Thursday to defeat an amendment to SB175 that would have enacted the so-called campus carry law. Eight Republicans and 16 Democrats voted against the measure.
The amendment would have allowed concealed-weapon permit holders to carry concealed guns on college campuses and store firearms in locked cars. Republican Assembly members Michele Fiore and Ira Hansen proposed the amendment after a Senate committee refused to hold a hearing on a separate campus carry bill.
Republican Assembly members Paul Anderson, Melissa Woodbury, Stephen Silberkraus, Derek Armstrong, Lynn Stewart, Jim Wheeler, James Oscarson and Chris Edwards voted against the amendment.
Wheeler, who said he supported the concept of campus carry and voted for a similar bill in April, said he didn't want to jeopardize the original bill by adding the amendment. SB175 clarifies the definition of justifiable homicide and makes it more difficult for people convicted of domestic violence to own firearms.
"I'm not going to kill 175 so someone can make a statement," he said.
Fiore, who sponsored similar legislation last session, called for a roll call vote and short recess after the amendment vote but was rejected by Speaker John Hambrick. She then left the Assembly floor, slamming a door on her way out.
The Las Vegas Republican later returned and apologized to Assembly members but called the eight Republicans who voted against amendment "gutless."
"Now it's my hill to die on, after being barred from my own chambers," she said. "Now they've just picked a big fight."
The Nevada System of Higher Education lobbied heavily against the bill and said it didn't want the Legislature dictating the system's rules about guns.
Nevada law allows a holder of a concealed-weapon permit to ask college administrators to bring guns on campus, though requests are rarely made.
Republican Sen. Ben Kieckhefer is sponsoring a similar bill about concealed weapons on campus, SB 350, which is marked as exempt from committee deadlines. Fiore promised to try and amend the proposal into another bill before the end of session.
Hansen, who co-sponsored the amendment with Fiore, said he was disappointed that the amendment failed.
"I think that was a major blow to our own base, who are overwhelmingly Second Amendment supporters," he said.