Where the Law Doesn’t Matter

Clark County Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Stefany Miley has denied a Las Vegas woman’s motion for a preliminary injunction after she received a one-year trespass notice from the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District as a result of openly carrying her .38-caliber pistol. Michelle Flores was given the notice at the Rainbow Library on March 16.

Her arrest lead to a meeting with Henderson Police officer Zane Simpson, and a couple of months later the Henderson library staff received a notification that read: “Generally, a person has the right to carry a gun openly, and he/she is not required to verify legal status with paperwork of any kind.”

Since then, Henderson Libraries has complied with the law. However they tried to argue that the district falls under NRS.265, which says a person shall not carry or have a dangerous weapon while on the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education, a private or public school or child care facility, or while in a vehicle of a private or public school or child care facility.

They found out they were wrong.

But not to be deterred, the district quickly changed the argument from the right to ‘open carry’ to ‘disruptive conduct.’ And yet, as the districts own lawyer admits, a security guard told Flores that she was not allowed to bring her firearm into the library upon return visits and furthermore, the trespass notice given to Flores by library staff did not state that as the reason for her one-year ban.

Despite all this, Judge Miley somehow concluded that the evidence indicated that the trespass notice was a result of her disruptive behavior agreeing with the library’s attorney who went on to claim about Nevada’s open carry gun law, “The law at issue applies to counties, towns and cities. This is a library district. It is not a city, it’s not a town, (and) it’s not a county.”

But according to the law, the district isn’t permitted to restrict the open carry of firearms as noted in part by Senate Bill 175, signed into law last year: “…expanding the rights and powers reserved for the Legislature relating to the regulation of firearms and ammunition; requiring the governing bodies of certain political subdivisions of this State to repeal certain ordinances and regulations; authorizing a person adversely affected by the enforcement of such an ordinance or regulation to seek declarative and injunctive relief and damages; providing that such a person is entitled to certain damages , which reserves the authority to regulate the possession of firearms solely to the state Legislature.”

Yet, somehow Judge Miley claims a simple posting on the library door reading, ‘firearms prohibited’ “clearly indicates” openly carried guns in a publicly funded building is unlawful and that such signage supersedes Nevada state law.

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