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City Of Las Vegas Votes To Change Domestic Violence Ordinance

The city of Las Vegas decided to go forward with an ordinance to create a new category of misdemeanor battery constituting domestic violence as a way to address a ruling by the State Supreme Court.

Under the ordinance, the city will prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence cases without requiring convicted defendants to give up their firearms.

The city council approved the new ordinance Wednesday. The ordinance does include other provisions, including requiring counseling for batterers and an enhancement to a felony after a certain number of misdemeanor convictions.

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In 2015, the Legislature passed a law that required people convicted of domestic violence to give up their firearms. However, in September, the high court ruled that taking away someone's Second Amendment rights required a jury trial.

All misdemeanor domestic violence cases in the city were decided by a judge. Municipal courtrooms don't even have jury boxes. 

The city of Las Vegas is not alone in trying to come up with a way to deal with the high court's decision. All jurisdictions in Nevada need to navigate the ruling. 

Domestic violence victims' advocates say the new rule will put victims and law enforcement officers responding to domestic violence calls in danger.