By John Crump
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- In the wake of the Nevada shooting where Stephen Paddock killed 58 people the group, Nevadans for Background Checks filed a lawsuit over an unimplemented background check law. The law, which would require background checks for private sales in Nevada, was passed by the voters as a ballot issue last November has gone unimplemented in the state. Governor Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt have blocked the law's implementation.
The lawsuit seeks to do one of two things. The first would be to compel Gov Sandoval to implement the measure as passed, or have the court issue a declaratory judgment striking any unenforceable portions of the law. The suit reads, “This case is about the refusal of the governor of Nevada to discharge one of his most fundamental constitutional obligations — to see that the laws of this state are faithfully executed.”
At issue is the fact that the law would change Nevada from a point-of-contact state, where all background checks go through the Department of Public Safety to a partial point-of-contact state where FFL transfers would still go through the DPS, but any private transfer background check would go directly to the FBI NICS system. The issue is that the FBI has already stated that implementation of federal resources cannot be dictated by state law and therefore will not allow private sellers in Nevada from using the NICS system for background checks.
Mark A. Ferrario, counsel for Nevadans for Background Checks, wrote in a letter to the governor, “All that is required of the governor is that he engages directly with the FBI, confirm Nevada's choice of partial POC status, and take the steps necessary to implement the law.” This letter is in response to Laxalt’s office stating that a proposed partial point-of-contact structure would be unique.
This clash on gun laws isn't the first time the Gov. Sandoval has stopped a similar action. In 2013 he vetoed a bill that would require background checks for private gun transfers. Gov. Sandoval cited the second amendment in his veto by saying that background checks would put an undue burden on the citizens of Nevada. This veto, was because a family member would not be exempt from the background checks when transferring firearms to another family member.
This veto is what lead supporters of the bill to collect enough signatures to get it added as a ballot issue. The effort was spearheaded by the Bloomberg groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America dumping millions of out of state money into the effort to get background checks implemented for private sales.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America acknowledges that this bill would not prevent the Las Vegas shooting from happening because Paddock passed all background checks. Elizabeth Becker of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America stated, “If there is a way to deter criminals and make it harder for criminals to obtain weapons, I support that.”
A day after the Las Vegas shooting a new group was formed to push for expanded background checks. Take Action Nevada was created not only to implement the law but also demand that the state legislature ban bump stocks within Nevada. The group was formed by Zach Conine, a Democrat, and Ryan Works, a Republican. Even though that this law would not have stopped the mass shooting in Las Vegas they are still using the tragedy to push their anti-gun rights agenda.
The NRA opposes the implementation of the law or any expanded background checks in Nevada.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.