Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, signed a so-called universal background check bill into law yesterday. The measure outlaws private gun sales in the state. That means Nevadans now need government permission to sell a firearm to a friend.
The Democrats who control the legislature sped the bill through the legislative process to give opponents as little time as possible to gather opposition.
From the Las Vegas Sun:
Introduced on Tuesday, it was sped through the legislative process faster than normal, drawing concerns from Republican lawmakers about the speed and rebukes from Democrats that voters had requested the law in a 2016 ballot measure. The measure was narrowly passed by voters in 2016 calling for increased background checks.
That 2016 ballot measure narrowly passed after a heavily Bloomberg-financed campaign. But it was so poorly conceived and written that it proved to be unenforceable.
Gov. Sisolak had this to say upon signing the new bill:
The bill I’m about to sign is a long-overdue, common-sense measure that will make Nevada safer and has the power to save lives from gun violence. We have already lost too many lives across the country to guns. With this bill, we are taking an important step to address the nationwide public health crisis that is gun violence, and we are making our children and families safer here at home by making it harder for potentially dangerous individuals to access a firearm.
There’s only one problem with that. Well, two. The first is that a study by an anti-gun research organization in California found that universal background checks did absolutely nothing to reduce crime rates or suicides there. Why Sisolak thinks universal background checks will be any more effective in his state is a mystery.
The second problem is that if this law had been in place two years ago, it wouldn’t have stopped the Las Vegas shooter (the ostensible reason it was first proposed). The Mandalay Bay shooter bought all of his firearms legally after passing the requisite background checks.
Not that any of that makes the slightest difference to Nevada’s anti-gun political class. Their objective was to DO SOMETHING and now something has been done.