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Nevada CAP law allows charges for parents who carelessly store firearms

Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-16 00:27:04-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A 14-year-old boy in Henderson is accused of fatally shooting his 10-year-old brother on Thursday. The investigation is ongoing, but the shooting has some in the community asking how and whether parents may be held accountable when firearms are left accessible to children.

Nevada passed the Child Access Prevention law, or CAP, in 2019. It allows prosecutors to bring charges to adults who carelessly store or leave a firearm where a child can access it.

The question now: Is it being successfully enforced?

While the law is enforced on a case-by-case basis, the group Moms Demand Action says more can and should be done.

"We want the outcome to be that more adults store their weapons unloaded and locked, separate from ammunition," said Elizabeth Becker of Moms Demand Action - NV.

The group is a movement of women calling for an end to gun violence and sending a message to gun owners to lock up their weapons.

Becker says the Child Access Prevention law is great, if it's being enforced. CAP aims to reduce unintentional deaths, violence or suicides among youth through deterrence. Becker says if the law could be enforced more often, we could see a decrease in gun violence in homes and even on school campuses.

"Our goal is not to send parents to prison who have also lost a child to one of these shootings," Becker said. "That is not our goal. Our goal is to make sure people know how to store their weapons, and they know what the repercussions will be if a child obtains a weapon in their home."

Nevada's CAP law does criminally charge adults, including parents, in cases where firearms could be accessed by children.

Learn more about Nevada's Child Access Prevention law here.