Tragically, mass shootings are an epidemic in the United States. According to a 2014 study from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. began to see a sharp rise in the number of mass shootings beginning in the year 2000 until now, but even since 1966, the United States has experienced 400% or more mass shootings than almost any other nation. Since this FBI report was released, the situation has only become direr. In the last sixteen months, the two worst shootings in modern American history have occurred. In June of 2016, a gunman attacked the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people. Now, a heartbreaking attack has hit our community. On October 1st, 2017, a gunman killed 58 concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip, firing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
In light of these horrific attacks, serious questions are now being raised over what precautions venues need to take in order to protect their patrons. It is an unfortunate reality, but it has become increasingly apparent that concert venues and other similar locations are now targets for the worst kind of attacks. At Naqvi Injury Law, we want everyone in our community to know how to avoid injury and potentially dangerous situations. We want you to be educated on how to identify safe concert experiences at clubs and venues in Southern Nevada. Here, we explain Nevada laws on security and discuss what venues can do to better protect their patrons. Keep in mind, you are most likely safe at any public venue or crowded area, but still be aware of your surroundings and know what to do in case of emergency.
Nevada Law: Venue Obligation to Protect Guests
Under the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), all venues have a basic legal responsibility to look out for the safety of customers and other permitted guests. This legal duty is comprehensive, and venues even have an obligation to provide some protection against potential third party attacks. Some of these precautions and security measures include checking bags at the front entrance, employing enough security staff to guide and protect people in the event of an accident or attack, and having clearly marked exit routes that can streamline leaving quickly in an emergency. If these security measures are not put in place, even if no problems arise, there can be legal implication for the venue managers.
What Can Venues Do to Protect Attendees In the Era of Mass Shootings
1. Increased Security Staff, Better Training
First and foremost, large venues moving forward will need to increase the total number of security personnel that they have working on the premises. Beyond hiring more security staff, venues and their security contractors will need to train their teams to be prepared for different types of threats including shootings but also preparing for other types of accidents. While more security personnel at the concert venue itself may not have prevented an attack like the Las Vegas massacre, in many mass shooting cases, inadequate security plays a factor.
2. Additional Screening Measures
Better screening of concertgoers and patrons will be a necessity. The Las Vegas gunman was not at the venue itself, but the Mandalay Bay did not have strong screening measures in place to prevent its guests from bringing a massive amount of weapons onto the property. The shooter was able to get more than two dozen firearms into his hotel room. If large hotels do not improve screening procedures, criminals will be able to facilitate attacks unbeknownst to hotel owners or other guests.
3. Security Barriers
Finally, venues need to think about how to improve security barriers. The Route 91 Harvest Festival was an open-air concert, so it was very difficult to protect from an aerial attack such as this one. Any venue will have to consider how they intend on protecting against attacks, even if the venue is open.
Taking the Next Step
This is a trying time for our community. While we all still go about our daily lives, the horror of the attack still lingers in our memories. While we know that there are things we can do to prevent situations like this in the future, this still doesn’t take away the pain and hurt families and victims are going through. Naqvi Injury Law recognizes all the great people who helped during this time and are willing to offer any services you or a family member needs during this trying time.