More facts emerge on Reno cop's gun sale to young man with mental illness

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More facts emerge on Reno cop's gun sale to young man with mental illness

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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.

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.

Martha Bellisle is the reporter from the Reno Gazette-Journal who broke the story:

"She [Conklin] rapped on his window and said are you the person looking for the gun. She was in her squad car--she's a patrol officer--and he said yes and got out. She looked at his driver license, and he said she conferred with the other officer as they tried to figure out 'okay, he's nineteen is that old enough?' And they decided that he was. She asked him have you committed any crimes? And he said no."

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.

Go here for the most recent RGJ story and tune in Friday at 2 p.m. to KUNR's "Beyond the Headlines" for our full interview with Martha Bellisle.