09 January 2013

Selected Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Regarding Motor Vehicles

NRS Chapter 483, Section 230
Anyone who operates a motor vehicle on streets and highways in the State must be licensed as a driver.

NRS Chapter 483, Section 550
Anyone convicted of being a driver of a motor vehicle on a public street or highway in the State without a valid license shall be required by the court to obtain a valid license (or show reason for disqualification).

NRS Chapter 483, Section 620
Violation is a misdemeanor.

NRS Chapter 193, Section 120
A misdemeanor is “punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 6 months”.

Nothing here precludes punishment for death, injury, or damage caused by irresponsible operation of a motor vehicle. Those crimes are defined and prohibited, and punishments proscribed, elsewhere in the law. Also, I expect there are plenty of people driving around without licenses. In fact, the practice is so widespread that our housing area put up a notice that drivers of work crews in the area must have a license, or the crew would be asked to leave. As long as they are responsible and don’t cause any damage, nobody (else) bothers them.

Now replace motor vehicle with firearm, and driver with shooter.

This would serve to “regulate the militia” by requiring licensees to demonstrate proper knowledge and skill, and yet not infringe on any citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. One could own and carry firearms in any responsible manner, which means keeping it concealed in most situations (because open carry tends to make people nervous).

Only when a person actually uses a firearm in public—where “in public” can be defined as narrowly as on a street, or as broadly as anywhere outside one’s home—would he or she be subject to having a license or committing a misdemeanor. The shooter would still be liable for any non-justifiable harm done to others or their property. (And, of course, a jury would have to decide what is justifiable.)

I’d rather not spend 6 months in the county jail, but I think $1,000 is a pretty cheap price to pay for saving a life.