Interview: Martha Bellisle on Reno cop's sale of gun to mentally ill man

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Interview: Martha Bellisle on Reno cop's sale of gun to mentally ill man

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Controversy continues over a Reno police officer who sold a gun to a young man, whose mental illness prohibits him from owning a gun under state law.

Below is a quick recap of the story. Check out the full conversation with the RGJ's Martha Bellisle to learn more about what happened, the legal issues behind guns and mental illness in Nevada, and how this story may affect the broader debate over gun control.

Controversy continues over a Reno police officer who sold a gun to a young man, whose mental illness prohibits him from owning a gun under state law.

Sergeant Laura Conklin was reportedly on-duty when she met up with the 19-year-old, who found the officer's ad for the gun online. While background checks are not required for private gun sales, the young man had been adjudicated by a judge at the request of his parents, which prohibits him by law from owning a weapon.

Later, it was discovered that the Washoe District Court never sent the court records to the state and federal database that shows who's prohibited from owning a gun. That means the 19-year-old would not have been flagged even if a background check had been conducted.

The Washoe District Court says that's due to a coding error and is currently auditing its records. The Reno Police Department says its investigating the incident and a formal complaint has been filed with the Internal Affairs Division.

Earlier this summer, Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill that would have required background checks for all gun purchase in Nevada.