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Everytown for Gun Safety Responds to Statement from Nevada Governor’s Office on 2016 Background Check Initiative

October 4, 2017

LAS VEGAS —Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, today responded to the latest statement from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval regarding his continued refusal to implement the Question 1 ballot initiative, requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales, that Nevada voters passed last November.

As reported this morning by the Nevada Independent, Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt have refused to enforce the background check law that voters approved last November, despite guidance from attorneys for the background check initiative about how to do so. Before Monday’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, attorneys for the background check initiative set an Oct. 9deadline for implementation and said they were prepared to go to court to compel the governor to implement the will of the people if the ballot measure is not enforced.

Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on most gun sales, but a loophole exists allowing unlicensed sales, including sales online and at gun shows, to take place without background checks. Nevada’s background check initiative, which voters approved last November with a majority of votes, calls for the state to close the federal loophole and require background checks on all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense. Eighteen other states have passed similar laws, reducing gun violence and saving lives.


“It is unconscionable that, after months of refusing to enforce the will of the people, the Governor is now passing the buck. He doesn’t need another opinion from the attorney general—particularly not the same attorney general who starred in the NRA’s ads opposing this law. The path forward was presented to him months ago: He should immediately engage with the FBI to implement the law. Nine other states operate as a “partial point-of-contact” and split responsibility for background checks between the state and the FBI. The people of Nevada have chosen to do the same. Now is the time for leadership.”

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