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Fiore, Wheeler square off on Campus Carry strategy

The tension on this morning’s tele-conference to discuss campus carry legislation – whereby students with concealed carry permits would be allowed to carry their weapons with them to classes for self-protection – between Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and Assemblyman Jim Wheeler was so thick you could literally feel it through the phone line.

If you missed it, click below…

But a surprise guest midway through the call – Amanda Collins herself, from her hospital bed where she just gave birth to her THIRD child! – helped keep a lid on the powder keg.

In case you missed the call, I’ll have the recording posted later for paid subscribers toSilver State Confidential, but here are some highlights…

Assemblyman Wheeler’s position remains that if campus carry was included in SB175 that the entire bill would have been killed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Greg Brower.  Thus he led the “Not-So-Great-Eight” Republicans in voting with the Democrats last Thursday to keep the amendment out of SB175.

Assemblywoman Fiore continues to maintain that Wheeler’s strategy was wrong-headed; that the only chance of passing campus carry was to call Brower’s bluff and amend it into SB175.  She believes Wheeler’s new effort to pass her bill in the Senate is nothing but a fig leaf to provide political cover for the Not-So-Great-Eight and is doomed.

I tend to agree with Fiore.

Indeed, I continue to believe the Not-So-Great-Eight torpedoed the only slim chance campus carry had for this session.

If the votes in the Senate weren’t there to pass Fiore’s campus carry legislation as an amendment to SB175 last Thursday, why should anyone think the votes to pass it as a stand-alone bill suddenly materialized less than 24 hours after the Not-So-Great-Eight killed it?

But Wheeler and the Not-So-Great-Eight’s strategy won the day last Thursday.

They thought they knew better than the other 17 Republican caucus members – including Fiore, the bill’s lead sponsor, and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Ira Hansen, who has been shepherding the gun bills all session.

As such, the fate of campus carry this session now rests 100% on their shoulders.

If campus carry was going to lose again this session, we should have at least gone down swinging.

Instead, the Not-So-Great-Eight got cold feet and blinked.

It’s now up to them to resurrect and pass the campus carry bill that they, themselves, killed.

I hope they pull it off.

But if not, there should be hell to pay in some GOP primaries next year.

As Amanda noted in an email to supporters later this morning…

“My drive behind getting AB487 (the new campus carry bill) passed is so other young women – including my 3 daughters – will not be legislatively disarmed on college campuses in the same manner I was when I was brutally raped by James Biela on the UNR campus in 2007.

“It is not a matter of IF the next James Biela will come onto a University Campus, it is a reality of when the next James Biela will be caught.  Every year 3,000 rapes are REPORTED on our University campuses, so many more go unreported.  Our safety is our choice and we should not be mandated to hand that over to a third party due to an arbitrary line.”

What she said.

UPDATE – 5/26/15

To fully understand exactly why there was so much tension between Fiore and Wheeler going into this teleconference, you should have heard the bombs Fiore hurled Wheeler’s way the Friday before in an interview with conservative Las Vegas talk-show host Alan Stock.

I don’t have the recording, but CLICK HERE to read a transcript of the conversation.  It’s explosive!


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