The White Pine County Commission unanimously approved Resolution 2020-06, a resolution that relates to the new Red Flag Law. 

The resolution is in support with a lawsuit Nevada CAN, et al vs. State of Nevada.  The suits seeks Declaratory Relief/Judicial Finding that Nevada’s newly enacted “Red Flag” law, AB291is in violation of Nevada’s citizen’s 2nd Amendment right, and/or that the process by which the “Red Flag” law is enforced lacks sufficient constitutional due process and therefore should be held invalid. 

The item was placed on the agenda by Sheriff Scott Henriod, who was seeking support from the commissioners.  

“AB291 in my opinion violates many amendments of our constitution in the United States, particularly the 2nd, 4th and 14th amendment in my opinion,” Henriod said. “I asked the D.A.’s office to draft a resolution that I hope each one of you will support, that way we can send to the Governor and let him know that White Pine County isn’t about to fall to these type of tyrannies.”

The Red Flag law went into affect after Jan. 1 this year.

Henriod explained how the law eliminates due process of the judicial system, which he feels is extremely important for individuals who are going to have their firearms taken away, they have a voice in that.  

“It shouldn’t just be a hearsay that’s brought before a judge and then an order signed and then expecting law enforcement to enforce that,” he said.  “Every person should have a right to go in and defend themselves and face their accusers, and that is in our constitution of the United States.”

Commissioner Ian Bullis thanked Henriod for his professional stance on the matter. “I appreciate the way you are handling this with honor, I feel like having a strong stance but being civil with them,  leaves other doors open to work with them in the future on other issues.”

It was noted that the lawsuit will be heard regardless of what efforts are being taken. The case will be heard in the First Judicial District in Carson City, and depending on the ruling, it may or may not end up in the Supreme Court. 

“So many places we see law enforcement see it come down the line and they say, ‘Ah we’re stuck with it,’ and here we have a sheriff, district attorney and other law enforcement agencies who are able to realize that a law like this is repugnant failure towards our constitution, this just cannot stand and cannot be enforced and I appreciate your notice and taking a stand,” Commissioner Shane Bybee said. 

Commissioner Laurie Carson supported the resolution wholeheartedly. 

Commissioner Richard Howe supported the resolution as well, but stressed the point that obeying the law is of the utmost importance.

“The way you are handling this is the absolute right way, but one thing I want to make clear, is that we took an oath to abide by the law, we as a county don’t agree, this needs to be looked at,” Howe said. “But we are also law abiding citizens of the county, and our sheriff and D.A. are not going to be put out on a limb to take action against it. We don’t have to agree with the law but we do have to obey them.”

Bybee expressed his disagreement in the law.  “I slightly disagree because when I took this oath of office I agreed to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and this law flaws in the face of the constitution and I believe it’s incumbent upon us as Americans and Patriots to take a stand and I believe this law should not be enforced.”

District Attorney Mike Wheable explained to the commission some facts regarding the red flag law.  

“Let me give a couple of facts so we know what we are doing here,” he said. “The sheriff and I took the same oath to uphold the Constitution and the Nevada Constitution and we took an oath to uphold the law.

“But what happens when there’s a conflict? We have to default to the Constitution, in fact, in our careers, sometimes we are enforcing laws,  if we have any notice that it might be unconstitutional we can be held liable for enforcing a unconstitutional statute.”

It was reported that last year misdemeanor domestic violence cases began having a jury trial in Nevada.  Before a person’s constitutional right is taken away, there is a significant due process, and shortly after that the red flag law that was passed.

Wheable gave an example, that no one wants people who are mentally unstable who can harm themselves or others to possess a firearm at that time where they could hurt people.

 “That’s not what we are saying, we are saying the process on the red flag law is where I can do an ex parte to have that firearm taken from that individual without them being heard,” Wheable said. “They would be able to stay no I’m not that person you think I am, those procedures in the new red flag law may be unconstitutional.

“Based on the new holding in the supreme court that there are insufficient due process procedures in the red flag law,  makes this unconstintutional and the sheriff and I can’t enforce laws that may be or are unconstitutional.”

Motion was made and approved unanimously.