Clark County Commissioner, Tom Collins, was breathing a huge sigh of relief after the Nevada attorney general’s office announced it would not charge Collins with a gross misdemeanor charge of aiming/discharging a firearm where persons are endangered. According to the Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Special Prosecutions Division, the evidence just wasn’t there to charge Collins. However, the North Las Vegas City Attorney’s Office felt there was enough evidence to charge Collins with a simple misdemeanor for unlawfully discharging a firearm within the city limits and disturbing the peace.
North Las Vegas police were called to investigate an alcohol-related shooting incident at Collins’ property less than an hour before the start of the Fourth of July. According to the police report, neighbors heard up to seven gunshots fired from Collins’ North Las Vegas property. According to Collins, after attending two Fourth of July parties he went home and began riding his horse over the more than one acre his house resides on. While riding “rockets, Roman candles and M-80s were flying over the fence.” However, Collins also admitted that while riding he got “mad at a tree and began shooting at it and a post.” Collins later recanted that statement. Though North Las Vegas police found empty beer cans, a whiskey bottle, other unopened alcohol containers, and an empty box of ammunition in Collins’ truck. No one was found injured, including Collins.
Under Nevada law NRS 202.287, a person who maliciously or wantonly discharges a firearm within or from a structure or vehicle outside a populated area is guilty of a misdemeanor. If the firearm is discharged within a populated area, a person is guilty of a category B felony and punishable in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 15 years, or by a fine of not more than $5 thousand, or by both fine and imprisonment. By facing only a simple misdemeanor, Collins could receive six months in jail and/or a fine of $1 thousand, for each charge.
Collins is set to appear an arraignment in Las Vegas Municipal Court on September 24th.
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