MINDEN, Nev. (KOLO)-- Douglas County Commissioners Thursday voted unanimously to oppose restrictions on gun sales it says exceed federal gun laws.
The vote matches actions by rural Nevada sheriffs following the Nevada Legislature’s actions this year to make background gun checks effective beginning in 2020.
Nevada voters approved the background gun checks measure in 2016, but Attorney General Adam Laxalt said it was not enforceable because it required the FBI to do background checks.
Following the shootings at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock, many Nevada politicians promised to press forward with gun laws and the 2019 Nevada Legislature quickly pushed through Senate Bill 143, which supporters said allows the voter-approved law to be enforced.
However, sheriffs and county commissions in some counties either announced they would not enforce the law – some calling their counties gun sanctuary counties – or they had plans to consider such enforcement. Those counties include Elko, White Pine, Eureka, Lander, Esmeralda and Pershing counties.
Esmeralda County Sheriff Kenneth N. Elgan said in a Facebook post the law will not make it harder for criminals to get guns and will not keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill, so he will not enforce it.
Lyon County is considering it March 21 and Lyon County Sheriff Frank Hunewill says he will have to see the language before he decides if he supports the county’s actions.
Hundreds gathered Tuesday at the Douglas County Community Center to express their opposition to the gun background checks. Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverly said he didn’t have the resources to enforce the law, although he stopped short of saying he wouldn’t enforce it.
Douglas County commissioners Thursday approved a resolution that said they support the right of people to sell property without government interference, they oppose legislation that exceeds federal gun laws, they discourage the sheriff from enforcing unconstitutional gun laws and they will not expend resources to restrict people from lawfully owning guns.