Nevada sheriffs react to background check act

Published: Mar. 13, 2019 at 10:45 PM PDT
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Lawmakers say Senate Bill 143 closes a loophole that allows gun buyers to avoid background checks by going through unlicensed gun sellers.

This week in Douglas County, residents attended a town hall. Sheriff Dan Coverly tells us

is unenforceable. "I would have to create some sort of unit in my department that just does this so you'd have to go out and find someone that attempts to sell and then you've caught them,” Sheriff Coverly explains.

In Carson City, Sheriff Ken Furlong agrees, adding there will be a high level of difficulty holding Nevadans accountable. "The challenge is this; when I as a friend sell a gun to a friend and if there is no background check done, that’s a crime according to this bill; however, how is law enforcement supposed to know that a crime has been committed because something wasn’t done, how do we even know that the sale took place?"

We're also hearing from Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam. He released a statement saying in part: "As the chief law enforcement officer of Washoe County, I swore to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens I have been entrusted with serving. As a government, however, we also have a responsibility to protect the public from criminal misuse of firearms. As sheriff, I will continue to work with my colleagues across the state and with Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks to ensure the highest degree of public safety for all.”

The legislation does not go into effect until 2020.