Horsford calls on NV leaders to get rid of 'armed separatists' - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Horsford calls on NV leaders to get rid of 'armed separatists'

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-NV, this past weekend spoke out again on the militia that remains in and around Bunkerville following the standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy, his supporters and the Bureau of Land Management.

Horsford was speaking at the 2014 Clark County Democratic Convention at the Tropicana Las Vegas.

"I'm calling on Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller, the sheriff and every other elected official in the Valley to do their part to get rid of these armed separatists! They don't belong in Bunkerville or any other part of our community," Horsford said.

Horsford last month sent a letter to Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, urging him and his department to investigate claims of intimidation by militia members.

Horsford's letter claims community members informed him armed militia members have set up checkpoints where residents are required to prove they live in the area before being allowed to pass and have established a presence along highways and roads, as well as in community areas, including churches and schools.

However, militia members characterized themselves as friendly and just there to ensure safety.

"We're out here strictly to ensure the safety of everyone," militia liaison Ryan Payne said.

Payne, an electrician from Montana, disputes the claims in Horsford's letter, which states militia members have set up roadside checkpoints and are patrolling schools and churches.

"These are public ways of transit. People are free to move through as they please. We're ensuring safety and freedom," Payne said.

Payne said the residents of nearby Mesquite have welcomed his group with open arms.

He said that if the militia learns of a threat to anyone's safety, its members will contact law enforcement.

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