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Whips banned in downtown Reno area because sound resembles gunfire |

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Whips banned in downtown Reno area because sound resembles gunfire

RENO, Nev. — Get out of town, Indiana Jones.

The Reno City Council has banned the possession and use of whips without a permit in the greater downtown area.

The change approved Wednesday comes after police reported a steep increase over the past two years of 911 calls from residents who mistake the sound of a cracking whip for gunfire.

Whips are a part of daily life in many rural areas where ranchers and livestock operators use the sharp “crack” produced when the whip’s tip breaks the speed of sound to scare and direct or herd animals.

Reno Police Chief Jason Soto said whip-related complaints have nearly doubled over the last two years.

He said they’re also being used in public areas for fights and intimidation.

Lily Baran spoke against the ordinance earlier on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union. She said that the homeless community is known for using the whips and that the ordinance will “perpetuate the criminalization of the unhoused.”

Possession of a whip is a misdemeanor.

Language of a draft bill banned all whips including a bullwhip, stock whip, yard whip, cattle drafter, bullock-whip, Raman whip, Rose whip, Florida cow whip, signal whip, snake whip, equestrian whips, buggy whip and Qilinbian.