Nevada

Reno Criminalizes Possessing Whips Without a Permit

Carrying this archaeologists' accessory in the city's downtown without government permission is now a misdemeanor.

|

The political wrangling in Congress over Democrats' multitrillion-dollar domestic agenda and continual supply chain bottlenecks have buried what should otherwise be front-page, national news: Reno, Nevada's crackdown on whips.

Earlier this month, the Reno City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits people from using or possessing whips in the city's downtown without first obtaining a city permit. The policy is in response to an increasing number of 911 calls by people mistaking the periodic snaps and cracks of whips as gunshots.

Reno City Attorney Karl Hall said that the new restrictions were commonsense whip control, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal. He stressed that the ban only applies in several downtown neighborhoods and that the archaeologists' accessory isn't restricted in other areas of the city where it might prove useful.

A city staff report says whips have grown in popularity in recent years, with people using them "in fights, for intimidation, and to practice 'cracking' the whip."

Whip-related calls to police have increased 61 percent from 2019. Reno police say that the people using them "are amateurs when it comes to proper use, and it is evident they do not possess it for any intended proper use."

The new restrictions have proven controversial. Council Member Jenny Brekhus voted against the ordinance because it didn't apply citywide, thus leaving whips dangerously unregulated in most of Reno.

Meanwhile, a representative for the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union argued that banning the possession of whips without a permit, which is now a misdemeanor, only contributes to the criminalization of the homeless, reports CBS affiliate 8NewsNow. According to that representative, the city's homeless are known for using whips for self-defense.

Reno's new whip ban is certainly unusual, but it's not unique. Kaua'i County, Hawaii, passed a similar ban in 2018.

The Associated Press notes that the ban doesn't apply to private property, which makes it less offensive than it might otherwise be. But there's still plenty of reason to be worried about this expansion of state power.

There's a real possibility of increased police interactions with anyone thought to be possessing a now-prohibited whip.

That's particularly concerning given that most of the whips on Reno's streets are homemade from chains, leather straps, rope, and string, according to police. Is anyone possessing bundles of these materials going to be subject to snap law enforcement stops now? One could imagine local police harassing innocent citizens based on unfounded whip tips, or even conducting sting operations to corral violators.

There also isn't any grandfather clause in Reno's whip ban, meaning once-lawful whip-possessing citizens have now been made criminals.

It's understandable that Reno politicians and police would want to get a handle on excessive 911 calls. Whipping up a fake moral panic in order to do that is nevertheless a mistake.

NEXT: Appeals Court Rules Social Media Companies Not Liable for Pulse Nightclub Shooter's Radicalization

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. We needed common sense whip control. Glad Democrats got cracking on this.

    1. Whip up some more support for this.

      1. Yea, get cracking on it!

        1. Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…FA And i get surly a check of $12600 what’s awesome is I m working from home so I get more time with my kids.

          Try it, you won’t regret it!…………… Click & Chang your._________foxlineblog.Com

          1. Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…FGh And i get surly a check of $12600 what’s awesome is I m working from home so I get more time with my kids.

            Try it, you won’t regret it........VISIT HERE

      2. it'll take a miracle,

        1. Yeah, sure. Just whip by the store and get your support. Easier said than done.
          https://youtu.be/wHdCe_p-zok

    2. Came here for Chumby's comment and wasn't disappointed.

      1. Chumby is the scourge of the humorless!

      2. Hey Guys, I know you read many news comments and posts to earn money online jobs. Some people don’t know how to earn money and are saying to fake it. You trust me. I just started this 4 weeks ago. I’ve got my FIRST check total of $1850, pretty cool. I hope you tried it.TBw You don’t need to invest anything. Just click and open the page to click the first statement and check jobs .. ..

        Go Here................ Pays 24

    3. Sounds like a job for Joycelyn Elders.

      1. Joycelyn Elders might like you whipping the Bishop, but if Maxine Waters hears about the Reno whip ban, she'll take it nationwide! You won't even be able to whip your whip into a gas-o-line station!

    4. How is the sub-header NOT
      "BDSM community hardest hit"

      1. Because there are no longer whips with which to hit them. Looks like you'll just have to Tase them, Bro!

      2. Actually, my first thought was Siegfried and Roy hardest hit.

        1. Actually, no. They both died of non-animal causes. Roy Horn died of COVID-19 on May 8, 2020 and Siegfried Fischbacher died of terminal pancreatic cancer on January 11, 2021.

          Siegfried and Roy--Wikipedia
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siegfried_%26_Roy

          Emperor Xi's Dragon killed one and nameless, faceless bureaucrats in the FDA no doubt helped in the death of the other. Truly a loss to the world of magic and entertainment.

    5. Are they also banning assault whips?

      1. AS IF those were even legal ...

        Now, back to The Village with you!

    6. One could imagine local police harassing innocent citizens based on unfounded whip tips, or even conducting sting operations to corral violators.

      Did you write this story, Chumby? Or did you just put a fire to Christian's Britches?

    7. It's all Robert Mapplethorpe's fault.

      1. Whether in or on the butt, whips in Reno are now Verboten...and if caught, the police will beat you within an inch of your life.

    8. Oh no! My Dominatrix is in Reno!

  2. "shall not be infringed"

  3. No Indiana Jones costumes for Halloween.

    1. *Shrugs* *Pulls pistol!* *BOOM!*
      https://youtu.be/3I_Ds2ytz4o

  4. I'm having trouble wrapping this around my head. If it's only a few neighborhoods, is that just the tip of the problem? I've seen some old whips with what can only be called fuzzy surfaces, no doubt from age and low humidity, which seems like a probable Nevada problem; are the infringing the right to be fringed?

    Just can't get a handle on this.

    1. Basically, the Westboro Baptist Church pressured Reno into passing the ordinance with signs saying: "God Hates Flagellants!"

  5. Let me guess, Reno needs cash and a dominatrix convention is coming to town next week.

  6. Are we sure this isn't the plot of an old "Reno 911" episode?

    1. Right, fuck Poe.

      1. I actually can't tell, especially with the way the article is written, if this is real or a joke.

  7. Lash LaRue and Zorro need to sue!

  8. " The policy is in response to an increasing number of 911 calls by people mistaking the periodic snaps and cracks of whips as gunshots."

    It's probably worth pointing out that the crack of a whip doesn't sound anything like a gunshot.

    1. Not even close; but when the caller is a neurotic Nancy or a crazy Karen any and all things seem "dangerous" and worthy or reporting.

      1. You don’t know how close to the truth you are. I’ve lived here off an on for 32 years and I’ve watched this live and let live state go down the drain due to our close proximity to California. We are full of Nancy’s and Karen’s when we used to have nothing but mind your own business and move along.

        1. Nevada is a "mind your own business" state? The state with the "Crimes Against Nature" law minds its own business? Huh. Who knew?

          1. It used to be. Read my comment. It was, until the invasion from the west.

      2. I was at a truck stop a while back and a whole shit ton of cops with ARs and body armor showed up because someone called in gunshots. It was a truck's suspension airbag popping.

    2. If they're getting that many 911 calls, it sounds enough like a gunshot to drive people to call the cops. The people doing the calling might be "karens" but they're certainly in that area of Reno to spend money as tourists so maybe keeping the cash cow happy is worth not having bull whips in the touristy areas.

      1. Perhaps existing noise and public disturbance ordinances would be in order, but hey, no need to crack the whip here.

    3. Both bullets and flinched whip tips move at speeds faster than sound, so they both produce little sonic booms. How closely they resemble each other depends on the bullet and the whip, of course, and people plugged into Blueteeth (plural of Bluetooth?) probably could mishear them.

      Still, that's no justification to deny the RKBA to peaceful whip-wielders.

    4. But don't expect a politician to know that

  9. Amazing to see such progress in action.

    Progress from guns, to knives, to whips....

    I bought one a a souvenir shop in W Texas when I was a kid. Didn't take me too long to learn how to make it crack, and then I practiced on nettles to where I could take them down a few inches at a time.

    Not my weapon of choice for self defense, but if I couldn't have a gun or a good knife, I suppose it would do. But what's next, baseball bats?

    1. Common sense bat control could avert a pandemic.

      1. Robert De Nero's portrayal of Al Capone hardest hit?

    2. Nobody needs to play baseball.

  10. Nobody needs one of those whips that has the sonic cracking thing on the end.

    1. Nobody needs one of those whips that has the sonic SHOULDER cracking thing on the end THAT GOES UP.

      FTFY

  11. What kind of fucked-up version of the Babylon Bee is Britches subscribed to? I mean, this is a pretty good parody of nanny-state government going too far, but it drags on for far too long given how thin the joke is. 3/10 - brevity is the soul of wit.

    1. Reality is crazier than fiction because fiction has to make sense with narrative flow.

      Reality is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

  12. I'd go blatantly carry one around and get myself in the books with a genuine second amendment case.

  13. Stick and stones can break my bones but whips and chains excite me!

  14. Whip-related calls to police have increased 61 percent from 2019.

    61%? There's no specifics of how many calls this might actually be though. So let's do a little math, shall we? If there were 5 calls in 2019 and 8 calls in 2020 that would be a rise of exactly 60%, so the extra 1 wouldn't be there. 81/55 is the first ration where you crawl under that 62% increase and, with some charitable rounding down rather than up, you could call it 61%. So let's say there are a hard minimum of 81 9-1-1 calls about whips in 2020. I would bet money that there were not 81 whipping incidents in Reno, Nevada, a city of a mere 200k people. More likely is there were multiple 9-1-1 calls about each incident and that starts to cast this in a whole new light.

    1. Good point. I find that when percentages are used it usually means the raw numbers were wimpy, like your hypothetical.

    2. Actually using your method the likely numbers are 13 and 21. Calls, not incidents. Yeah, that should technically be rounded to 62% but you've got journalists or police officers doing the math. And all that's if they even computed it from the raw number of whip calls.

      One also suspects that "whip-related" is doing the same sort of work as "alcohol-related", "gun-related", and "COVID-related".

      1. I find your numbers more plausible than mine.

      2. "One also suspects that "whip-related" is doing the same sort of work as "alcohol-related", "gun-related", and "COVID-related"."

        This. When they arrested Indiana Jones for shooting that swordsman, he was also carrying a whip and wearing boots, so the incident was coded as "gun violence", "whip violence" and "boot violence".

  15. First they came for the fedoras, and nobody said anything...

    1. Yeah, but think about the kind of people who wear fedoras (or trilbys) these days. As much as it would fire me up if it were anybody else, I wouldn't mind seeing a few of them snatched up in unmarked vans.

      1. Unmarked vans do not exist, M'Lady! *Tips Fedora!*

  16. Does this include the shorter sex worker domination whips?

    1. Whips in public yes. Whips in pubic no.

      1. "Excuse me while I whip this out."
        - Sheriff Bart of Rock Ridge

    2. ENB will be along shortly to voice her objections.

      1. To whip up some mayonnaise for that sammich she is making?

    3. Technically those are riding crops, not whips

    4. It would violate the 14th Amendment if they allowed or banned whips only for little people sex workers.

      Either whips for none or whips for all, no matter how big or small!

  17. Would a cat 'o nine tails be considered and assault whip?

    1. High catpacity whip.

      1. A wonderful future creation courtesy of CRISPR!

    2. Nobody needs a cat with nine kinds o’ tails.

    3. I guess that means a scourge is a weapon of mass destruction

      1. ...That gives a whuppin' of ass destruction!

  18. A city staff report says whips have grown in popularity in recent years, with people using them "in fights, for intimidation, and to practice 'cracking' the whip."

    A problem came along. They whipped it. Whipped it good.

    1. Devo, Nevada approves.

      1. "Are We Not Men?"...

    2. I suspected I wouldn't be the first to think of this joke.

  19. Police Officer, singing:

    "I shot a man in Reno just 'cos he had a whip ..."

    1. I shot the sheriff, but I did not whip no deputy.

  20. I'm glad someone is doing something about those young whippersnappers.

  21. "The policy is in response to an increasing number of 911 calls by people mistaking the periodic snaps and cracks of whips as gunshots."

    Remember the Prog Motto: When everything looks like a nail, Hammers work just fine.

    1. Gotta love the assumptions here. Washoe county is not progressive. It's debatable if it's even liberal given it's consistent margin in favor of conservative politicians.

      https://silverstateelection.nv.gov/county-results/washoe.shtml

      1. Do they require the hookers to take baths in Wash-Hoe County?

        1. No, but they needed to differentiate themselves from Dirty-Hoe County.

  22. Square-jawed archaeologists hardest hit.

  23. O, FFS....

    The Crazy Years, but the Sainted Robert Anson Heinlein (PBUH) was writing fiction, not future history, right?

    RIGHT?

    1. Except the religion now is Progressive Socialism.

    2. If This Goes On...

    3. Papa Heinlein was preciously prescient!

  24. Not all whips. Just the black, mean looking, "assault whips".

    1. Nobody's trying to take your grandfather's cattle whip, we just want to focus on assault whips which nobody needs...

  25. No where is it mentioned that this is likely a response to the whackadoodle Burning Man refugees that love their whips.

  26. It's good to see the ACLU taking the proper side for once, even if they do resort to "unhoused" reasons.

    1. Now if only everybody's individual right to keep and bear arms got the same respect.

  27. Quibbles: The "whip" in the main article is only debatably a whip at all and certainly not the sort of whip of the sort that might elicit a 911 call. That "whip" in the picture is a flogger meant for flogging. It isn't capable of cracking or popping. (And the one chosen in the OP appears to be a fake one at that.)

    Here is a bull whip in action. Anyone who says this doesn't sound like a gunshot, I'd agree with, but it's still frightening for people to hear reverberate off buildings and in light of the Vegas massacre.

    This is a weapon with a long reach and can easily strike a person through clothing and require stitches in a single hit. From a Second Amendment perspective, using a weapon on a crowded street just for fun and thereby endangering the public is probably not protected. It's possible to kill someone with a bullwhip but it's not likely unless you're incredibly stupid and unlucky--which someone using one of these on the tourist streets of Reno most certainly is.

    1. But they are banning POSSESSION, not USE. Of course using it against another person unnecessarily has always been a crime: Assault.

      It may be an unconventional type of weapon, but I'd argue that the second amendment still applies.

      1. If it's popping and thus leading to 911 calls, it's not mere possession (even if the law targets possession, the actions leading to the law weren't about possessing but using.)

        Cracking a bullwhip in public is tantamount to firing off a gun in public (or shooting a compound bow, or slinging stones, etc) It's not assault if you're not aiming for people. Maybe reckless endangerment, if Nevada has such a law. IANAL but I used to be Nevadan.

        1. This one sounds more "gun like" with the reverberations against the buildings. Also, dude has one where it cuts a full can of soda in half with a single strike leaving the bottom half standing and full of soda. Definitely able to do some damage to someone who's hit, accidentally or intentionally.

        2. I stick by my point, that the law bans POSSESSION, not use (either against another person or just "cracking" it).

          Cracking it could be interpreted as similar to firing a gun unnecessarily in a populated area, which is a crime in many places.

  28. But furry handcuffs are still G2G, right? Asking for a friend.

    1. Better question: Are the police smart enough to know the difference between a riding crop, flogger, cat-of-9 tails, and a bullwhip?

      Even better question: Who the hell is going into the downtown tourist areas and crack off bullwhips? Are they sober? Are nunchucks not cool enough for the incel crowd anymore?

      1. You will probably be arrested or ticketed for all of them. It isn't the cops job to know the law.

        1. So ignorance of the law is an excuse for cops?

  29. Does it say anywhere what it takes to get a carry permit for a whip in that zone?

  30. Ordinance Adoption - Bill No. 7185
    Ordinance to amend Title 8, Chapter 8.18, of the Reno Municipal Code titled “Weapons”, creating a new ordinance RMC 8.18.035 Unlawful use of a whip, together with other matters properly relating thereto.

    So it's about use, not possession.

  31. Reno Criminalizes Possessing Whips Without a Permit

    The will take my Astin Martin when they pry it from my cold, dead, Q-armed-and-equipped James Bond fingers!

    1. "ya think?"

  32. Permits for whips is, in addition to it’s other plentiful downsides, a really dumb idea.

  33. I'm interested in these people who hear a whip crack and their first thought is to call 911.

  34. Devo hardest hit

  35. Will you still be able to possess a quirt? Too short to be "cracked."

  36. The latest comments and the comment box should be at the TOP of the page not at the bottom. At the minimum there should be a filter to sort them by oldest or newest.

    1. Sorry, not in the budget for their Koch benefactors.

  37. The entire Country is cracking up!

  38. If the law doesn't apply on private property, then people who have whips in their homes don't automatically become criminals. But do people live in the downtown areas where this law applies? If so, then they will need a way to get the whips in their homes out of the area legally. Locked whip-transport boxes?

    1. Whip buying programs sponsored by the police?

  39. So the knout law increases coercive government kink. What's the penalty... thirty lashes? And what about quaffing the nitrous off of whipped cream--another sumptuary law?

    1. It may be a Sumptuary Law, but it is knot very sumptuous.

      In fact it seems almost Corn-y that they would put people in Com-stocks over phallic cow-hides. They had to have been buzzing off of Prohibition-Era Moonshine to have made a law like that!

      Maybe all the Libertarian Spoiler Votes ever cast could get rid of the law if we could concentrate them all in Reno.

  40. Hope they don't outlaw dildos in Reno.

  41. That isn't a whip, it's a flogger. Imbecile.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.