This November, Nevadans will vote whether to expand background checks to private gun sales. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports the National Rifle Association opposes the ballot initiative arguing that’s not how criminals are getting their weapons.
Background checks are not required in unlicensed gun sales or at gun shows in Nevada. This ballot measure would shut that loophole.
“They got it from another criminal associate; they got it from a family member; they got it through a straw purchase; that’s where they send someone else in to buy it for them," Mortensen says. "These criminals are going around the background check system already.”
Earlier this month, the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers endorsed the initiative. Richard McCann, spokesperson for the state’s largest law enforcement group says that keeping a gun from even one wrong person would be worth it.
“Because if we save a life, if we save a family, save one of these officers, I don’t think there’s any price that can be put on that," McCann says.
Without background checks, unlicensed merchants can sell to convicted domestic abusers and those with documented severe mental illness.