Governor, AG call Nevada gun background checks law defective

Kent’s Note: This story comes from the Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt are telling a judge that a strict gun background-check ballot measure that voters passed in November 2016 was defective as written and can’t be enforced.

In documents filed Friday ahead of a Feb. 12 court hearing, lawyers for the state say Question 1 improperly requires the FBI to expend federal resources to enforce a state law.

Ballot measure backers filed a lawsuit in October, just days after 58 people died and more than 500 were injured when a gunman opened fire from a high-rise Las Vegas Strip casino into crowd at an open-air concert.

They want the state to enact the law.

They say it may not have prevented that shooter from obtaining guns, but it would help keep guns away from people who are a threat to others.


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  1. John Lloyd Scharf on

    The law sought to expand background checks from retail point-of-sale to private point-of-sale as well. The FBI does not do background checks for private parties. Only States or police can request that. It requires people who have been cleared by the FBI to have access to the NICS.

  2. RetMSgt in Pa. on

    The law was created by voter initiative (otherwise known as mob rule), not by a deliberation done by the citizens’ elected representatives. Had the elected representatives been involved in the process, the defects in the proposed law might well have been resolved prior to it being enacted. But, that didn’t happen, and the law requires the federal government to get involved in something it’s prohibited from doing.

    • Article I, Sec. 1 – ‘All legislative Powers (law making)… shall be vested in a Congress…’ All States’ governments are founded on (see: Article IV, Sec 4) and bound by the U.S. Constitution (see: Article VI). Therefore, unless a law is passed by Congress and enacted by the Nevada executive, it is not law. Question 1 is therefore a “fiction of law” which is neither binding nor enforceable because of its unconstitutionality (see: Marbury v. Madison: 5 US 137).

  3. I live in Nevada (Las Vegas) and I did NOT vote for this law. The law, as written, requires the background checks be carried out by the FBI, and only the FBI. The State Department of Safety also has the same information as NICS, plus a little more in-depth information. Since the law mandates that only the FBI can be used to perform the background checks, any FFL dealers involved in private sales cannot use the State’s data base. The FBI told the State that they would NOT perform the background checks, as it would interfere with the normal background checks they are already performing, and the State can’t require them to do the checks anyway. That is why the law has not been implemented. It needs to be re-written, but the gun grabbers can’t or won’t get that through their heads.

  4. The Ballot measure backers who filed suit still want to enact the law? They admit “it may not have prevented the shooter from obtaining guns, but it would help keep guns away from people who are a threat to others”? Really? Let’s look at just how stupid this comment really is.
    First of all, if it “may not have prevented THAT shooter from from obtaining guns”, then it ISN’T keeping guns away from people who are a threat. He was a threat to almost 600 people who were killed or injured.
    Second, as with any gun control law, (and let’s be honest, this is a control law) it will only keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, who wouldn’t have committed such a cowardly act in the first place. This guy was on a mission, and if he couldn’t obtain the guns legally, he would have obtained them illegally. He proved he wasn’t afraid to break the law, didn’t he?
    Third, the FBI is charged with a lot of tasks of high importance such as tracking down jihadists and other terroists who are a threat to others. Why task them with doing background checks on prospective gun purchasers of which 99.99% have no criminal intent. The USDoJ has all the information needed to determine if a gun purchaser is a potential threat to others. I personally would rather see the FBI tracking down terrorists who have the intention of hurting/killing as many people as humanly possible.
    As what typically happens after a catastrophic event, the ballot measure was clearly a knee jerk reaction that was not thought through, written by people who have no idea what it takes to purchase a gun legally, write a bill effectively to become a law or stop would be criminals from committing crimes. Although I too am disturbed by so many shootings in the country, this was clearly not the correct approach.

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