However, Pahrump residents caught wind of what Kohbarger and his leftist gun grabbing acolytes were scheming and by the time the board meeting started, scores of angry citizens were already packing the town hall.
Read what happened next:
Town withdraws effort to ban guns
By GINA B. GOOD
There was definitely a hot time in the old town Tuesday night, due in part to an item placed on the town board meeting agenda by Pahrump Town Manager Bill Kohbarger that would have barred firearms on town-owned property, in town-owned buildings and at town-sponsored events.
Fired up residents braved the frigid winds blowing down from snow-capped Mt. Charleston as they streamed into the Bob Ruud Community Center 30 minutes early to ensure a seat for the meeting.
By the time the meeting was called to order at 7 p.m., dozens of residents were standing in the back of the hall.
The board's first order of business after the pledge of allegiance was to permanently remove the firearms ban from the agenda, on advice from the town's attorney, Rick Campbell.
He said, "My research shows the town does not have the legal right to enact these types of ordinances." That ended the matter for the board but didn't stop the 200 or so people in attendance from wanting to voice their opinions. Residents waiting to address the board lined up behind the speaker's podium and around the back of the auditorium.
Board Chairman Nicole Shupp tried to cut off the speaking, but attendees protested, wanting the board, and specifically Kohbarger, to know where they stood on the issue.
A man stating he was from District 5 was first to speak. His name was lost in the noise of the crowd as they reacted to the fact they would not be able to speak on the matter. "The colors have been shown," he said. "We are not okay with this. We can see what's coming in this country. The government is getting out of control. When it comes to gun rights and the Second Amendment, we can't give any more ground. We have zero tolerance on this issue."
The speaker paused as the hall broke out in thunderous applause.
"I want get the people whose idea this is fired," he continued. "Gun restriction only hurts the honest citizens. Don't our elected officials recognize this fact?
Referring to the recent murder of a convenience store employee, he added, "When you walk into a convenience store in Pahrump, do you know who's walking in behind you?"
As the woman next in line tried to ask the board a question, Shupp told the gathering, "We are moving on."
The crowd reacted, with several people yelling out, "Let her ask a question."
Shupp used her gavel to quiet the room, again saying the board would move on to the next agenda item, but a male voice from the back of the auditorium called out, "All in favor of hearing the question say 'Aye'."
"Ayes" rang out in the community center.
Shupp was not swayed in her determination to move to the next item. She told those in attendance that the gun ban was permanently removed from the agenda but they were invited to come back and comment at the next regularly scheduled meeting. She said, "We'll be here until midnight if everyone in the room takes a turn at the podium."
People shouted out they wanted to know why a gun ban was on the agenda in the first place, but no answer was forthcoming.
"You are not going to be re-elected madam," called out someone from the back of the hall.
Harley Kulkin addressed Shupp and the board, saying, "If you don't have time to listen to the people who elected you, you shouldn't run for public office."
In a brief interview after the lengthy meeting, Kohbarger, who bore most of the blame from those in attendance, said two residents asked him to put the gun ban on the agenda.
"They didn't show up to back me up on their own item, but I've got broad shoulders," he said.
He said he'd canvassed more than a dozen people after the item was proposed to him and came to the conclusion that guns carried in the open intimidated people.
Before the town attorney advised Kohbarger the town could not enact the ordinance, he'd planned to change the agenda item so those with concealed carry permits would not be prohibited from carrying their firearms, "because those people have training."
CCW holders must pass a background check and weapon handling test.
Residents react to ban idea
"I am totally against this gun ban," said Mike Hickey, before the Pahrump Town Board meeting began on Tuesday. "If this is the way the town manager thinks, he can go somewhere else. He is new in town and he's trying to flex his muscles. I don't know where he's from, but he can just head right on back there. I'm still a believer in the Constitution."
His friend, Daniel Spooner added, "I'm here to find out what's going on and to put in my two cents worth if necessary. I want to know if a study has been done on barring arms by the town manager. If they take our firearms, only the crooks will carry guns and law abiding people won't. I believe in my Second Amendment rights."
Bill Aldrich agreed, "We have to do everything we can to stop this gun ban from happening."
Donald Dial said, "Our rights are being taken away. This town has been like this for many, many years. What's the purpose for changing? Just because you make an ordinance to not carry a gun doesn't mean we don't have a right to carry. It's in the Constitution."
Carol Bird commented, "My husband Steve and I are here in support of citizens' right to bear arms. I don't want the town to ban guns. In my job, I am in and out of public buildings almost every day. I don't want to remove my gun every time I go into a public building."
Louis DeCanio said, "I know the elections are over so nobody has to listen to the people, but we have the right to speak."
Donald Cox asked the board who put the item on the agenda. Kohbarger simply said, "I did."
"Then you need to resign or be fired," said Cox.