Sheriff Opposes Gun Ballot Question - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sheriff Opposes Gun Ballot Question

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Sheriff Chuck Allen does not hesitate when it comes to gun issues. 

Chuck Allen does not hesitate when it comes to gun issues.  The first-term sheriff of Washoe County says he has many concerns when it comes to Question 1. If voters approve the ballot initiative, background checks would be required for private party sales.

"This particular law is putting more restrictions on those people who already obey the law, every day," Allen said.

Allen ran for sheriff as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but some of his arguments against the bill are not part of the petition.

"If I wanted to give my son a rifle to go out hunting, this season, he would have to qualify and go through a background check," Allen said.

Actually, that would not be the case, if Question 1 passes.  Section 6 of the initiative has a list of provisions that the statute would not apply to, including gun sales between family members and sales involving law enforcement agencies.  Nevadans would also be allowed to lend their guns to someone for the use of hunting or temporary self-defense, without getting a background check.  Question 1 is similar to a bill that passed in the 2013 Legislature, and was vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval.  Former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley is on the advisory board for Question 1 and says the petition was crafted with Sandoval's concerns, in mind, removing some of the teeth from the original bill.

"What it simply does and narrowly does is closes the loophole that exists now," Haley said.

Haley says he thinks expanded background checks would keep more criminals from getting firearms.  He says Question 1 will make Nevada safer without taking away gun rights.

"Everybody today, who is legally able to buy a weapon, will be legally able to buy a weapon when Question 1 passes," Haley said.

"It definitely infringes upon the average law-abiding citizen who wants to just own or utilize his or her firearms or transfer them, down the road," Allen said.

Allen says other states have passed similar gun laws, with underwhelming results, and argues that more restrictions will not keep violent criminals from getting a firearm.  He says it could also have a negative impact on law enforcement agencies.

"We're creating more legislation that is going to create more work for law enforcement to enforce laws on people who are already law-abiding citizens," Allen said.

Question 1 does not create delays for gun purchases or put a cap on the amount of guns purchased.  Haley says by passing this law, police officers will be safer, possibly crossing paths with fewer criminals with guns.

"Simply throwing your hands up and then say this is too hard and we want to keep it the same way it is and then accept the deaths that we're seeing in this country, I think is irresponsible," Haley said.

Allen says background checks do work, keeping some violent criminals from buying guns.  While he opposes expanding the regulation, he encourages private gun sellers and buyers to get a background check.

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