Background check legislation on fast track in Nevada / by Charles Yeganian

Background check legislation introduced today in Nevada could be law by the end of the week and go into effect in 2020. Committee hearings are expected to begin tomorrow on SB 143, a new bill that mirrors an initiative approved by voters but never codified. The FBI refused to comply with the state-level initiative, so now Democrats are seeking to put the state in charge.

“The legislation itself is exactly what was approved by the voters,” Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson told reporters after the bill was introduced. “We didn’t put anything extra in it, we didn’t take anything out of it.”

The law does carve out exemptions related to antique firearms and tranfers between family members, but the legislative wording is strong enough that passage should fulfill one of the four main loopholes in the state’s gun laws identified by the Giffords Law Center. The legislative process will begin tomorrow.

Atkinson said the bill would go through the normal legislative process. A joint hearing on it in front of the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Atkinson said the Senate could vote on the measure Wednesday.

Speakers at the hearing are expected to be limited to two minutes each but there will be no limit on the number of speakers.

SB 143 would be a huge step forward in strengthening Nevada’s gun laws, and LEAP Forward will continue to track the bill and score support.