Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday signed into law the bill designed to cure the flaw in the voter-approved firearms background checks law.
He did so after the Assembly gave final legislative approval to the legislation mandating background checks for private firearms purchases and transfers.
In signing SB143, Sisolak described it as “a long-overdue, common-sense measure that will make Nevada safer and has the power to save lives from gun violence.”
“In November 2016, the majority of Nevadans made it clear they wanted us to do more to address gun violence, but for 829 days since, they’ve been ignored,” he said. “That finally changes today.”
Unlike the Senate, which declared the measure an emergency earlier in the week, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson declined to do so, allowing members a day after the bill’s introduction to examine it. But he held floor speeches on the measure to three minutes apiece.
The vote was 28-14 along party lines with one exception. Assemblyman Skip Daly, a Democrat representing a Republican-dominated district, voted against the measure. Daly was consistent since he also voted no on the legislative predecessor to the background checks bill in 2013.
Opponent Republicans say the measure won’t really stop criminals and prohibited persons from buying a gun since all it does is close the gun show loophole. People who don’t buy from a licensed gun dealer at a gun show aren’t required to undergo background checks. They argued the bill is a step on the slippery road to gun control and interference with the rights granted under the 2nd Amendment.
Supporters argue closing the gun show loophole is a step in the right direction and logical since buyers form licensed dealers are already required to undergo a background check.
Attorney General Aaron Ford applauded the passage of the bill, stating in a release: “Since 2016, Nevadans awaited the implementation of common-sense gun background checks, and today, I’m proud to say that their wait is over. This is dedicated to the many Nevadans who have lost a friend, family member or coworker to preventable acts of violence. The senseless tragedy in Parkland almost a year ago to the day is just one of many acts of violence that spurred this meaningful public safety bill. It is my hope that today will be remembered as a day of action, when Nevada chose to be a part of the solution to gun violence.”
On Tuesday, legislators heard more than eight hours worth of testimony on SB 143 during a Joint Meeting of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary.
Prior to implementation of this bill, state background checks were conducted through Nevada’s background check system on all firearm purchases involving licensed dealers. Between 2012 and 2014, background checks from licensed gun dealers prevented more than 5,000 gun sales in Nevada to prohibited people, including fugitives, felons and domestic abusers, Ford’s release said.
Research shows in states with these private party sales checks, 46 percent fewer women are killed with guns by intimate partners, 48 percent fewer people commit suicide with guns, and 48 percent fewer police officers are murdered with guns, Ford’s release added.
For information on SB 143, visit leg.state.nv.us.