Vegas council bans swords, knives, toy guns in downtown zone

November 22, 2019 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas City Council has voted to ban swords, knives and toy or replica guns from the downtown Freemont Street entertainment district.

The council unanimously approved the ban Wednesday, adding the district to other tourist hubs around Las Vegas that have banned fake firearms.

Nevada law only allows state lawmakers, not local governments, to regulate real firearms, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Las Vegas Strip has had a similar ban in place since the Clark County Commission voted for it in 2012. The city of Henderson has barred the pointing, brandishing, concealment or use of a fake firearm.

The Las Vegas law leaves those caught brandishing a sword, knife or fake firearm facing a misdemeanor charge with up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, who introduced the city council’s ban, told KNPR earlier that the change would help police.

“When I’ve been out on that very busy pedestrian mall on a First Friday, it’s a very difficult task to keep eyes on everything happening and they do a magnificent job and I just want to make sure that they feel they’re supported,” she told the radio station.

Christiane Brown, co-president of the Northern Nevada chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called it a “weird, twisted” irony that the council can ban fake firearms but not real ones.

Brown said city councilmembers should push state lawmakers to change state laws that allow for the open carry of firearms.

“I understand that if you have a toy and someone thinks that’s a real gun, that could cause grave concern,” she said. “However, people are out there with real guns legally, and I think that should be of grave concern.”