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A Victory for Gun Sense Years in the Making: Governor Sisolak Signs Legislation to Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales in Nevada

February 15, 2019

Today’s Signing Vindicates the Will of the People of Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Everytown for Gun Safety and the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown, today applauded Governor Steve Sisolak for signing into law legislation that will require background checks on all gun sales in the state.

Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales, but a loophole exists that allows unlicensed sales, including sales online and at gun shows, to take place without background checks.

After legislation to require background checks on all gun sales was vetoed by then-Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2013, Nevadans took matters into their own hands, and in 2016, voters passed the Everytown-backed Question 1, the background check initiative. However, then-Attorney General Adam Laxalt and then-Gov. Sandoval failed to implement the law — even after Nevada saw the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history on Route 91 in Las Vegas.

The passage and signing of SB 143 ensures that the will of Nevada voters will be carried out.

“For years, Nevadans have made it clear they want background checks on every gun sale — but for years, politicians put NRA priorities over the will of the people,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Today’s signing is a testament to the fortitude of Nevada voters, who never stopped fighting for common-sense measures to keep guns from getting into the wrong hands.”

“This is a moment years in the making,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “So many Nevadans dedicated countless hours to this effort – first by passing a ballot initiative, and then, when lawmakers refused to implement it, by working hard to elect leaders who would do the right thing. Finally, their efforts paid off. I’m so glad to have been in Nevada this week to thank the Moms Demand Action volunteers and survivors in person. This new law will save lives.”

“No law can bring our son back, but I’m proud of my state for continuing to fight for laws that we know save lives,” said Jenny Heyman, a volunteer with the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America whose 17-year-old-son, Chris, was killed with a gun in 2004. “Today, we closed the loophole that lets felons and domestic abusers buy a gun from a stranger they meet online or at a gun show, with no background check, no questions asked.”

“Today is a momentous day for public safety for all Nevadans,” said Elizabeth Becker, a volunteer with the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Hundreds volunteered their time over the last six years to make sure lawmakers closed the loophole allowing dangerous people to obtain firearms through private sales without undergoing a background check. We owe a debt of gratitude to not only Governor Sisolak, but also to the leadership in the legislature for making this legislation a top priority.”

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