White Paper  |  Forum | 2020-2021

Guns in the Sky: Nevada's Firearm Laws, 1 October, and Next Steps

by Dylan Lawter, and Anya Sanko

With incidences of high-profile mass shootings as well as daily gun violence continuing to rise throughout the United States, Nevada residents cannot help but wonder what the state is doing to stop and to prevent future incidents. Nevada has historically had permissive gun laws, being part of the “Wild West,” but in modern days, particularly since the 1 October shooting, Nevada legislators have enacted more gun laws. Additionally, judges and justices in Nevada courts have had to interpret new and old gun laws in novel ways, due to living in the modern era where gun violence seems to be the norm rather than the exception. This paper examines firearms legislation in Nevada historically, in the modern era and as a result of 1 October. We then examine one case in-depth, Parsons v. Colt’s, which arose from the 1 October shooting, and is currently active in the United States District Court, District of Nevada. We then examine further the three Certified Questions from Parsons currently certified to the Nevada Supreme Court and provide recommendations for rulings on the questions.