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ICYMI: Arguments Heard in Lawsuit Seeking Implementation of Background Check Law Passed by Voters

June 7, 2018

Wanted to make sure you saw the most recent coverage of the ongoing lawsuit over the state’s failure to implement the background check law passed by Nevada voters in 2016.

Although voters approved the Question 1 background check initiative in November 2016, the law has not yet been enforced, even after Las Vegas experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. A lawsuit has been filed against Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt seeking the implementation of the law.

At the hearing Tuesday, the Associated Press reported, “a lawyer for advocates of background checks said he had no alternative to get Nevada to enact the gun background check law because Sandoval and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt — Republicans who opposed the ballot measure — are not ‘fully and faithfully implementing the laws of the state.’”

The attorney, Mark Ferrario, told the court had Sandoval had not taken sufficient steps to work with federal authorities on implementing the law, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

“What the governor did here was not enough,” the Sun quoted Ferrario as saying.

Proponents of the background checks law, including volunteers with the Nevada Chapter of Moms Demand Action also attended the hearing.

“We’re losing sight of what this is all about, it’s that the voters spoke,” one volunteer, Linda Cavazos, told the Las Vegas Review Journal said. “Every day that this law is not implemented is another day that someone in Nevada can go get another gun without having to go through a proper background check.”

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. Nevada’s background check initiative, which voters approved last November with a majority of votes, calls for the state to close that loophole and require background checks on all gun sales in Nevada, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense.

Nineteen other states and Washington, D.C. have passed similar laws.

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