CARSON CITY — A last-ditch bill that would give casinos direct police support to enforce their in-house weapons bans survived widespread condemnation in committee Saturday from across the political and ideological spectrum, with progressives and civil libertarians joining gun owner groups to pick apart its provisions.
Senate Bill 452, introduced Tuesday, limped to a party-line 4-3 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee following a four-hour joint hearing with its Assembly counterpart. Opposing lawmakers held little back in showing their disdain.
“I think that the testimony clearly showed the fatal flaws of this bill, and that would be an understatement,” said Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, as the committee voted the bill out.
The measure would let casinos directly summon police to deal with a potential ban violator without staff first having to interrogate and confront the offender. Its provisions would be limited to casinos of a certain size that hold nonrestricted gaming licenses.
There are 172 such establishments in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, according to testimony heard Saturday.
Casinos that ban weapons would post required signage at all entrances and on their websites to advise patrons of their rules.
The bill makes exceptions for law enforcement officers, some of whom are contractually obligated to be armed at all times, and for others who obtain written permission from the establishment.
The new bill incorporates provisions dropped from another weapons bill, Assembly Bill 286, that bans weapons manufactured without serial numbers that are untraceable. That bill gained final legislative passage Friday.
Bill advocates at the hearing, including MGM Resorts International, said the measure would safeguard casino workers and patrons and was aimed at less serious incidents that occur more frequently involving people carrying weapons, not mass-casualty events such as the 2017 Route 91 Harvest festival shooting.