Lawsuit Filed Over Background Check Law Blocked by N.V. Gov. Sandoval

By John Crump

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.
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.
John Crump
John Crump

U.S.A.-( 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.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

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 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

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When the FBI/NICS system is flawless, then talk about adding private sales. Adding them now is the least effective way to ensure prohibited persons don’t get to buy or receive firearms. The Fisherman adage comes to mind, ” A fisherman who wants to catch more fish doesn’t increase the size of his nets, he fixes the holes in the one he’s using.”


Never, ever require background checks on private sales. There are already too few protections to insure an ownership base is not created for a de facto registration system. Trusting the government has never been a good idea and this is the worst possible violation of trust. It also empowers them to engage upon disarming the population.

Bob Priscaro

President Trump has a policy in place; eliminate two outdated regulations before one new regulation goes into place. It places the focus on the regulation, not on the surrounding emotion of an issue and a knee jerk response. I think, in similar fashion, gun control advocates should have to explain EXACTLY how their new law / regulation will work to solve gun violence. That will eliminate most, if not all of the knee jerk back ground check BS, and re-focus us on the mental health issues in this country. Some have said that the Las Vegas shooter was NOT mentally… Read more »


Your suggestion about a requirement for “explIning …” is a fine idea, so fine an idea that it is a certainty that it will never come to be adopted.


Re the original national legislation creating this background check monstrosity which is called The Brady Bill, correction if needed, how many of those “Congress critters” still nibble on the public tit?

Donald L. Cline

I think Nevadans for Background Checks (and Bloomberg’s ‘Everytown for Gun Safety,’ etc., etc.) should rename themselves “Anti-Americans Against the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th Amendment Rights,” because these are the rights egregiously violated when a citizen is required to ask permission of government to exercise a right government has no lawful authority to issue or deny, and is required to complete a self-SEARCH (Form 4473 under Penalty of Perjury), and undergo a check of the citizen’s private records on government databases, before permission is granted. If you have to ask permission, folks, it isn’t a right. But it… Read more »


Notalima: Your comment seems to conflict with the response by the FBI. If dealers are handling the transfers for the parties, what would be the objections by the FBI? That’s already what we do in some situations– like people who are too stupid to realize they’re not required to go through a dealer. Just imagine the mess a three day delay would be, or a requirement that, after the gun was transferred pursuant to a transfer on day X statement, the FBI or ATF denied the transfer.


Pete, Currently retails sales go through dealers who use the NV PoC system. Under the legislation, private citizens would now be required to bring their transfers to a dealer, who would then use the FBI instead. The FBI has declined, twice, to do so. With the law stating that the FBI must be used, that puts citizens in the position where they would have to ‘perform an impossible task’. Adam Laxalt therefore ruled correctly that the law was unenforceable as court precedent states that citizens cannot be charged under the law when to comply with the law they must ‘perform’… Read more »


The FBI/NICS is physically incapable at this time of accepting applications for background checks on private transactions. They’re often running behind on checks for only us dealers, a much smaller number. Consider the procedure. The first two questions I’m asked when I call for a background check are my FFL number and my password. It is a part of the check process that dealers like me have been licensed to participate in this procedure. We didn’t just send in a box top or do something similar for our licenses. We are also checked before we’re licensed. Those who want federal… Read more »


Pete, The NV law would require private transfers to go through a licensed FFL. Private persons would not be calling to run checks. Basically, if Jon wants to sell a gun to Sally, they both go to an FFL where Jon then transfers to the gun to the FFL (yes, seriously), then the FFL transfers the gun to Sally. FFLs were not consulted on the processes. Then there is the disaster written in the ‘Temporary Transfers’ section of the initiative. Essentially, unless you are in directly with someone else when hunting, or at a ‘designated range’ (and who gets to… Read more »


My understanding, possibly incorrect, is that the current Nevada legislation here discussed was enacted via a referendum, meaning it was on the ballot, where the Nevada electorate voted this thing into law. That being the case, what might driven the Nevada elecorateto adopt such a monstrosity?


The voter initiative was a carbon copy of Washington’s i594 and Maine’s Question 3. The wording drafted by Bloomberg’s in-state group. It was carried by ONE County: Clark. All 15 other counties voted against it by a large margin (Washoe county a bit less so). However, Clark is so large it carried the vote for the entire state. Clark county is where Las Vegas is located and is largely populated by California transplants, and NE state “retirees and refugees” and their families. They bring the failed Blue state policies to a Red state. The initiative passed by LESS than one… Read more »


Those that you refer to are like children in a darkened room crying for “mama” to come and protect them from the “boogeyman man” that lurks in the dark.


READ the Tenth Article of Ammendment, gun grabbers….. WHERE do the States have any authority to infringe upon any resident’s right to keep and bear arms? Nowhere, that;s where. Tjat Second Article of Ammendment to the US Constitution specifically denies FedGov any authority to infringe upon that right…. and as well denies ANY level of government, or anyone or thing else, from infringing upon that right. Thus the authority to demand background checks is NOT reserved to the states. Nor does FedGov have any authority or obligaion to fun those checks required by this Bloomburg law. WHO is that guy… Read more »

Donald L. Cline

The problem is that the States demanded a Bill of Rights before they would ratify the Constitution They got one, they ratified it, and until the 14th Amendment was passed, they have flatly ignored it claiming “States’ Rights.” They gave up their ‘States’ Rights’ to be exempt from anything prohibited to the States when they ratified the U.S. Constitution, which includes Article VI providing and requiring that the judges in every States shall be bounded thereby, the Constitution or laws of any State notwithstanding. Therefore, the Tenth Amendment prohibits the States from exercising any power prohibited to the States by… Read more »


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.”

“refusal of the governor of Nevada to discharge one of his most fundamental constitutional obligations.. to see that the laws of this State that are conforming to the
Nevada and US COnstitutions are faithfully executed”

There,m I just fixed it for ya……


Re Background Checks and the “virtues” thereof, consider the following. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand, the Las Vegas shooter underwent the state’s existing background check regime for all firearms he possessed. He passed them too. Another point of interest is the following. How many armed criminals undergo anywhere a background check as might be mandated in either state or federal law? None you say, give that man the Cupy Doll prize. Given the above mentioned, what might the real purpose of Background Checks possibly other than to create a sub rosa system of firearms registration, exactly… Read more »


It was said the FBI told them it would not allow any state to use their NCIS system to do background checks. What part of no do these people not understand. Oh yea, I forgot it doesn’t matter what the policy is or the law is they think it doesn’t apply to them because they make the laws they want the way they want them.


This proposed law like most of the others are designed to make the liberals feel good. It does nothing to prevent some wacko from going off the deep end and committing this time of a crime. These “make me feel good” people do not understand what makes the wacko commit the crime. It is not the piece of metal but the lack of reasoning in their brain that allows these crimes to occur. If their so called law is supposed to be effective why hasn’t the hundreds of thousand narcotic laws stopped the illegal use of drugs. I wonder how… Read more »