One of the benefits of having a Nevada Concealed Weapon Permit was the exemption from the federal background check when purchasing a new firearm. This fee which is free in most states, costs the purchaser an extra $25 at the point of sale. The exemption was lost for the entire State when BATFE performed an audit and discovered rural sheriffs were not performing due dilligence. They were not conducting the required background checks. In a manner remniscient of Kindergarten, all CCW holders were penalized for the actions of a few and the exemption was taken away in 2007.
Assembly Bill 282, passed into legislation this past July caried language that would return this exemption to law-abiding CCW holders. In a letter dated August 26, 2011, Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director of the Enforcement Programs and Services Division of the BATFE, announced that Nevada concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit holders will be exempt from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provided the permit was issued after July 1, 2011.
According to this letter:
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reviewed Nevada’s Concealed Firearm Permit and has determined that the concealed firearm permit qualifies as an alternative to the background check required by the Brady law. Please be advised that only permits issued on or after July 1, 2011 qualify as alternatives to the background check. If an unlicensed person presents a permit issued prior to July 1, 2011, the FFL must conduct a background check prior to transferring the firearm. The statutory framework for the NICS exemption was included in Assembly Bill 282 and enacted by Governor Sandoval effective July 1, 2011. However, individuals who hold permits issued before July 1, 2011, must go through the renewal process before enjoying the exemption. It will be up to each issuing authority to determine if early renewals will be accepted and the NRA will be encouraging Nevada sheriffs to make those allowances.”
CCW permit holders in Reno and Sparks are governed by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Washoe County has been dilligent in performing background checks on new permit holders and on renewals. In a phone conversation with Lisa Lane at WCSO’s CCW Desk on August 31, she relayed that the Sheriff’s Office had this sprung on them surprisedly. As of now, enforcement is the same as the BATFE letter, “Only permits issued after July 1, 2011 will qualify for the NICS exemption when purchasing a new firearm.”
Unfortunately there is no way for Washoe County residents to renew “early” or otherwise have the issue date changed. This is a limitation on the State computer system’s software. So for the next four years, in my case and I suspect in many others, we will have to pay for a redundant background check whenever we purchase a new firearm.
Ms. Lane assured me that the Sheriff’s Office was looking into ways to remedy this, to include all permit holders who have passed a background check and advised me to call back in a few weeks to see if there is any resolution. Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has been performing all required checks from the beginning. Let’s hope that they find a resolution so we receive equal treatment with all permit holders for the NICS exemption.
To contact the Washoe County CCW Desk call:(775) 328-3348