Nevada Voters Passed a Law Last Year Requiring Background Checks on All Gun Sales, but Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt Have Refused to Enforce It
LAS VEGAS – Everytown for Gun Safety and the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown, today applauded the news that a lawsuit has been filed in Nevada court over the refusal of Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt to implement the background check law that voters passed last November. The lawsuit can be viewed here.
Although voters approved the Question 1 background check initiative nearly a year ago, Gov. Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt have refused to implement the new law, even after Las Vegas experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Attorneys for the background check ballot initiative have informed the governor for months that he can start working with the FBI immediately to implement the background check law, and before last week’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, they set an October 9 deadline for implementation and said they were prepared to go to court if the law was not implemented.
Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on most 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. Eighteen other states have passed similar laws and see fewer gun deaths among law enforcement and victims of domestic violence, as well as fewer suicides by firearm, than states that have not closed the loophole.
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Every day this law goes unenforced is another day someone can easily get a gun in Nevada with no background check and no questions asked. The governor has an obligation to work to implement the law that voters passed, and since he seems unwilling to do his job, we strongly support this effort to obtain a court order requiring him to do so.”
STATEMENT FROM ELIZABETH BECKER, VOLUNTEER WITH THE NEVADA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Our governor and attorney general now face a clear choice: Will they keep dragging their feet on enforcing the law voters passed last year, or will they start working with the FBI to implement it? Last week was a terrifying wake-up call about why strong gun laws matter, and parents like me won’t sit idly by as our leaders refuse to their jobs. Our volunteers will be doing all we can to urge the governor and attorney general to take action to enforce the law Nevadans voted for.”
STATEMENT FROM ELAINE WYNN, ADVISORY BOARD CO-CHAIR OF NEVADANS FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS:
“It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to get Nevada’s leaders to implement a common-sense public safety law that voters passed at the ballot box, but sadly, this is what the situation has come to. I hope this will prompt the governor and attorney general to finally take action to implement this law and close our background check loophole as voters demanded almost a year ago.”