Congress’ political fight over Democrats’ multitrillion dollar domestic agenda and continuous supply chain bottlenecks has obscured what ought to be on the front page: Reno’s crackdown against whips.
An ordinance was passed by the Reno City Council earlier in the month which prohibits anyone from possessing or using whips within the downtown area of the city without first applying for a permit. This policy was created in response to increasing 911 calls from people who mistake whip cracks or snaps for gunshots.
Karl Hall, Reno City Attorney said that these restrictions were commonsense whip controls. Reno Gazette-JournalThis is the final word. The ban is only in place in several neighborhoods downtown. He also stressed that archaeologists can still use their accessory in any other parts of the city that might be useful.
According to a city report, whips are becoming more popular in recent years. People use them in fights and for intimidating others, as well as “cracking” the whip.
In 2019, whip calls to the police rose by 61%. Reno police claim that people who use whips are “amateurs when it comes to correct use and it is obvious they don’t possess it for any purpose.”
These new restrictions are controversial. Jenny Brekhus (Council Member) voted no against the ordinance as it did not apply in all cities. This leaves most whips unregulated in Reno.
A representative from the American Civil Liberties Union state branch stated that the ban on whips being carried without permits is only a way to criminalize the homeless. 8NewsNow CBS affiliate reports. This representative stated that many of the city’s homeless use whips in self-defense.
Reno’s whip ban may be unusual but not uncommon. Similar ban passed by Kaua’i County in Hawaii in 2018.
According to the Associated Press, this ban does not apply to private property. This makes it less offensive. However, there are still many reasons to worry about the expansion of state power.
It is possible that there will be more police interaction with those suspected of possessing an illegal whip.
It’s especially worrying considering most whips seen on Reno’s streets, police say, are made of chains, leather straps or rope and also contain string. Anyone found with bundles of such materials will be subject to immediate law enforcement stop. You can imagine the police harassing people based on unfounded whiptips, and even conducting sting operation to capture violators.
Reno’s whip ban does not contain a grandfather clause, so citizens who once owned whips are now criminals.
Reno’s police and politicians are likely to want to address excessive 911 calls. It is a mistake to create a false moral panic for this purpose.