The Washington Post

Nevada GOP governor vetoes gun background checks bill

Nevada will not become the latest state to enact new gun-control regulations, after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval on Thursday vetoed the Democratic state legislature's universal background checks bill.

The legislation would have required a background check on any private gun sale. Sandoval said he approves of the bill's aim and some of its provisions, but that it would infringe on Nevadans' 2nd Amendment rights.

"Senate Bill 221, while laudable in its efforts to strengthen reporting requirements concerning mentally ill persons, imposes unreasonable burdens and harsh penalties upon law-abiding Nevadans, while doing little to prevent criminals from unlawfully obtaining firearms," Sandoval said in his veto statement.

He pointed in particular to two examples: selling a gun to a family member and selling a gun to someone with a license to carry a concealed weapon. In both cases, Sandoval said it was unreasonable for the transaction to require the supervision of a federally licensed firearm dealer.

Sandoval also argued that the bill would create problems for gun dealers, by reducing the burden of proof for illegal weapon sales. Current law says, in order to be convicted of an illegal sale, a dealer must have "actual knowledge" that the purchaser isn't legally allowed to buy a gun, while the new law says the dealer can be found guilty if there was a "reasonable cause to believe" that the purchaser didn't qualify.

Democrats quickly jumped on Sandoval, accusing him of being out of touch with the will of Nevadans.

“I am deeply disappointed in Gov. Sandoval’s decision to veto this bill," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who had spoken with Sandoval about the bill. "People convicted of a felony or suffering from a severe mental illness should be prevented from buying a gun with a simple background check. Ninety percent of Nevadans agree and it is too bad this bill has been vetoed.”

Mark Kelly, the husband of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who founded a new gun control group with her, promised Sandoval would pay a price for his actions.

"Nevadans won't forget and neither will we," Kelly said.

Colorado, Connecticut and New York have passed new gun regulations in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., in January.

Ed O'Keefe contributed to this report.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.