GOP Assembly says Dems rushing background check bill

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada Republican Assembly Caucus says Democrats, now in control of Nevada's Senate, Assembly and the Governor's office, are trying to rush a change in state law on gun background checks.

(Image Source: MGN)

The text of the bill wasn't available to read until February 11, 2019. That's the day Republican members of the Nevada Assembly said in a news conference they would like to see a bipartisan conversation about the issue, rather than Democrats using their super majority in the Assembly to fast-track a bill and get it signed by the Governor as soon as possible.

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The Joint Meeting of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and the Assembly Committee on Judiciary will be held at 8AM Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in room 1214 of the State Legislative Building.

Voters narrowly approved NV Question 1 in 2016, which would have required criminal background checks on private gun sales and gun loans, except for immediate relatives.

Former Attorney General Adam Laxalt declared the law unenforceable because NV-1 required the FBI to conduct the background checks instead of relying on the state's existing background check system. The FBI responded that Nevada could not dictate how the FBI should allocate its resources, making the law unenforceable.

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Background checks are already conducted through Nevada's background check system on all firearm purchases involving licensed dealers.

Gun control proponents argue that requiring background checks on private, face-to-face gun purchases, would keep guns out of the hands of criminals. However, a study released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in January 2019 found that 43% of the convicted inmates who used a firearm during their offense obtained it illegally off the underground market; 7% had found it at the scene of the crime; and 6% had stolen it. Less than 1% (0.8%) of the convicted inmates had obtained their firearm at a gun show.

Whether the Legislature can legally change the law is questionable. Article 19 section 2.3 of the Nevada Constitution reads, "An initiative measure so approved by the voters shall not be amended, annulled, repealed, set aside or suspended by the Legislature within 3 years from the date it takes effect."

Battle Born Progress and the National Rifle Association have both sent out messages to their supporters, urging attendance at the Tuesday hearing.