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Troubled Nevada assemblyman under scrutiny after gun-buying trip

February 23, 2013|By John M. Glionna
  • Officials are concerned that Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks, arrested last month on suspicion of threatening a colleague, may have tried to buy a gun recently.
Officials are concerned that Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks, arrested… (Cathleen Allison / Associated…)

Las Vegas -- The saga of disgraced Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks just keeps on growing.

Last month, Brooks was arrested on suspicion of threatening a fellow Democrat, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick. Now, law enforcement officers say investigators shadowing the troubled assemblyman from North Las Vegas say he unsuccessfully tried to purchase an unspecified type of gun Thursday at a northern Nevada sporting goods store.

Officials at the Carson City Sheriff's Office say it's unclear whether Brooks was denied his intended purchase at Scheels gun shop in Sparks or whether he is awaiting a routine 72-hour waiting period for such purchases. He had not been denied the purchase as of Friday, officials said.

Scheels store manager Todd Anderson told the Los Angeles Times he didn’t have any comment. “We don’t talk about any of our customers, about who comes in here or what they intend to buy,” he said.

He also would not confirm whether he or his employees had been contacted by authorities regarding Brooks.

Sheriff Ken Furlong said his office had received repeated anonymous calls that Brooks might attempt to purchase a weapon. “He did not purchase the weapon successfully, but this has put us into an alert position,” he told The Times.

“I represent the public, and there are certainly a lot of fear and anger issues out there when it comes to Mr. Brooks. It’s not in his best interests to have a gun. It’s just going to cause a lot of other people to be concerned.”

After Brooks’ reported threats against the Assembly speaker, he was accused of grabbing for an officer's gun during an arrest earlier this month in Las Vegas on suspicion of domestic battery.

Investigators say Brooks had a gun and dozens of rounds of ammunition in his car after the first arrest.

Brooks, who has spent time in recent weeks under psychiatric observation, has been banned from meetings with party colleagues in the Assembly and was banished from the Nevada Legislature Building. Last week, he was kicked out of a casino restaurant in Reno for unspecified reasons.

Assembly Majority Leader William Horne notifed Brooks last week in a letter that he is on paid leave pending recommendations from a select committee named to investigate whether he is fit to serve.

“I’ve had a hell of a month,” Brooks told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in January after his initial arrest. “I had the worst month I had in all my life, and the new year just started.”

This week, a judge in Las Vegas dissolved a protective order sought by Brooks’ wife, Ada, after no one showed up for a scheduled court date to pursue the matter.

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