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With a rise in mass shootings, Nevadans weigh in on gun safety

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 18:52:34-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — With the recent rise in mass shootings, many people may feel uncertain when it comes to the issue of gun safety and access.

Nevadans like business woman Chelsea Bell are taking action by getting a concealed carry weapon license.

“It's time to protect yourself, protect ourselves, and prepare for anything,” Bell said.

Bell says we live in a country where people are dying daily due to gun violence.

"The gun laws are not going to change. This is not New Zealand, where we are going to get rid of guns and have world peace, I wish it was because my next move will be my best to New Zealand."

Bell signed up for her CCW class at Gun Shop Las Vegas. Owner Dallas Greene says he’s seen an increase in concerned people like Bell taking steps to feel more secure.

"There is an uptick in gun purchases for new owners as well, like it was for COVID, but it is even more so right now,” Greene said.

Greene says he is all for gun rights, but he says people are behaving like it’s the wild west. He thinks some gun laws need to change, like the age requirement to purchase.

"I can't go buy beer at 18, why can I buy an AR at 18 years old and I can't buy a pistol 'til I'm 21?" Greene said.

Firearm specialist Thomas Whitfield says Nevada is an open carry state, meaning if you haven’t been convicted of a crime, it’s legal to carry a rifle, handgun or legal firearm. He says carrying a concealed gun is also legal here with a concealed weapon permit.

But Whitfield believes the state’s gun laws are too lenient and may have contributed to the 1 October tragedy in Las Vegas.

"That's why what happened in Nevada with the casino and everything was crazy, it was insane," Whitfield said.

At a gun violence awareness event last Friday, Gov. Steve Sisolak angrily responded to the recent wave of gun violence.

"There's no reason to own an AR-15. I don't want to hear it from a congressman that they need it to fight feral pigs or raccoons or what they're coming up with as excuses. That's ridiculous," Sisolak said.

Still for some, gun reform is off the table.

Mike Ward, a Nevadan we spoke to at Gun Shop Las Vegas, said, "Why don't they enforce the laws they already have? If the laws were going to solve the problem, Chicago would be Mayberry, USA today."