Reality Check: "Sheriffs Agree" - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reality Check: "Sheriffs Agree"

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In a political advertisement by the National Rifle Association Nevadans for Freedom, they encourage Nevada voters to vote no on Question 1. Question 1 would require background checks for private party sales or transfers of firearms.  It is called "Sheriffs Agree," but do the facts agree with the sheriffs? We put them to the test in this Reality Check. 

"Out of state politicians are pushing Question 1," said Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen, in the ad.

This claim is true. Even though there are plenty of Nevadans who are pushing for Question 1, donors outside the Silver State are contributing the most money.  As of August 22, 2016, the organization "Everytown for Gun Safety," founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has donated the most: $3,752,105.83. That is followed by Nick Hanaeur a political activist and venture capitalist in Washington. He has donated $275,000 to the campaign. Sean Parker, Co-Founder of Napster and former Facebook President has donated $250,000. 

"They say Question 1 is about background checks," said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, in the ad. 
"But Question 1 is solely gun control," Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong continued. 
"Gun control," Allen agreed. 

That's subjective. It's all in the language. "Background Checks?" Yes. This initiative basically means a background check, from a licensed gun dealer, would be required for private party sales and transfers, like at gun shows. If you define background checks as a form of  "gun control," then yes, it's gun control.

"Question #1 turns well meaning Nevadans into criminals," said Laxalt. 
"Loan a gun to your cousin? Jail," Furlong argues. 
"Store a gun with your neighbor?" asks Allen.  
"Jail," responds Laxalt.  

These claims are misleading. If Question 1 is passed, a person who violates the law would be charged with a gross misdemeanor. That comes with a fine up to  $2,000, OR up to one year in prison, OR both. There is not an automatic jail sentence.  That is for a first offense. A second offense could land an offender in jail for 1-5 years. 

Let's look at a part of this clip again:
 
"Loan a gun to your cousin? Jail," Furlong argues. 
"Store a gun with your neighbor?" asks Allen.  
"Jail," responds Laxalt.  

This is misleading too. Under Question 1, you can transfer a firearm between immediate family members: parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. Cousins? Technically you can't.  Storing a gun at your neighbors counts as a 'temporary transfer' in the proposal. Those are allowed if it is to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. 

"It's not going to do a thing to prevent crime," said Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, of Storey County. 

This is speculation. Even though there is evidence supporting and rejecting this claim, only time will tell if it makes a difference here. 

"Stand with law enforcement," Laxalt said.  
"And vote no on Question 1," said Allen. 
 
This, too, is misleading. At the end of the commercial, the ad lists 14 out of 17 sheriffs in Nevada who do not approve of Question 1. However,  there are several law enforcement, including former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley, the Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police, the Nevada Chapter of Latino Peace Officers, and the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers who have endorsed it.

To be fair, Nevadans for Background Check, the group in favor of Question 1, only have one advertisement currently running on Northern Nevada airways. It features a man named Paul Larsen, a member of the NRA, who gives his opinion on why Question 1 should pass. However, Larsen makes no significant claims. If and when Nevadans for Background Checks put out a new advertisement, we will fact check it. 

You can read the full text of Question 1 here: http://nvsos.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=3440

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