Jim Wheeler: Protect constitutional rights and vote ‘no’ on Question 1

As the Majority Whip of the Nevada State Assembly, I’m honored to represent not just the voters and taxpayers of District 39, but all Nevada citizens. Therefore, when I stand up to fight for the individual rights and liberties of my constituents, I’m fighting to protect those same rights and liberties of all our citizens. It’s part of the oath I took when the voters entrusted me with this office, and it’s one I take seriously.

Currently, former New York Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg is back in Nevada seeking to restrict our Second Amendment rights by way of Question 1 on November’s ballot. Bloomberg previously hired a team of lobbyists and tried to pass a similar gun control measure during the 2013 legislative session, but his legislation was rejected by many legislators (including me) and rightly vetoed by Gov. Brian Sandoval. Fortunately, my colleagues and I prevented any other Bloomberg-type gun control measure from passing in the 2015 legislative session.

Unfortunately, billionaire Bloomberg is back, this time trying to convince our law-abiding citizens and gun owners we’re to blame for terrorist attacks like those in Orlando and San Bernardino. Bloomberg’s reaction to criminal mass shootings and terrorist attacks is to seek to prevent our law-abiding citizens from defending themselves. That reaction is dangerously misguided, and it’s one I hope you join me in rejecting.

Make no mistake, Bloomberg’s Question 1 will do nothing to stop criminals from carrying out their crimes against our citizens. In the meantime, passage of this gun control measure will undoubtedly criminalize normal activities of law-abiding Nevada gun owners. As voters learn more about Bloomberg’s intentions and the impacts of his gun control measure, I’m confident they are going to reject him and his attempt to restrict us of our fundamental rights. For instance, if Question 1 was to pass on the November ballot, Nevada’s laws on private gun transfers would be as, or even more restrictive, than those in California!

Bloomberg’s Question 1 would also force any law-abiding Nevada gun owner who loans, shares or sells a firearm to a friend, or perhaps a relative, to go through multiple, onerous, expensive, time-consuming government background checks. Even a military member who stores his guns with his family while deployed overseas could be in violation. Failure to abide by all the new government rules and mandates could land you in jail and facing hefty fines.

So, while Bloomberg would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, the real criminals on our streets will have an easier time eluding capture. Our law enforcement agencies and personnel are already stretched thin as they strive to make our communities safe. Therefore, having to focus time and resources on otherwise law-abiding gun owners will only make matters worse.

As elected leaders, our primary goal should be tackling the real problems that threaten our communities — violent criminals, terrorist threats and oftentimes insufficient mental health services — rather than trying to further restrict and burden law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, their families and their own Constitutional rights.

The principle goal of Question 1 is to make legal gun ownership more onerous, burdensome and expensive for Nevada’s law-abiding citizens. Remember, gun control is not about guns. It’s about control.

Please join me in rejecting Bloomberg’s gun control initiative this November. Please go to https://www.votenoquestion1.com to learn more.

Jim Wheeler currently serves as Majority Whip of the Nevada State Assembly.


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