We continue our Reality Check series with a new ad from Nevadans For Background Checks. It is called, "Fact" and features Lt. Ray Steiber from the Las Vegas Metropolitan (Ret.) speaking throughout the ad.
Lt. Ray Steiber: "Question 1 protects the rights of law abiding Nevadans to bear arms. Carry. Hunt. Protection. It's all there. Doesn't change."
This is true. Instead, Question 1 is all about background checks. Except in certain defined circumstances, this initiative would require a background check, from a licensed gun dealer, for private party sales and transfers. Question 1 doesn't affect you if you already have a weapon.
Lt. Ray Steiber: "No one goes to jail for swapping guns while hunting or at the shooting range."
This is also true. Remember those 'certain defined circumstances'? Question 1 allows transfers of firearms at an 'established shooting range' and 'while hunting or trapping' if said hunting or trapping happens where it's allowed, and you have the right licenses and permits to hunt. There are a few other exceptions-- like transferring between immediate family members, gun competitions, and when a transfer will prevent imminent death.
Lt. Ray Steiber: "What changes is that convicted felons can't run to a gun show, or go online and buy guns without background checks."
True. It's called the background check loophole. Those for and against Question 1 acknowledge its existence. Current law says if a private party wants to perform a background check, it can legally do so. If they don't, they are "immune from civil liability for failing to request a background check pursuant to this section"
This is part of the current gun laws in Nevada. Here is the exact text of NRS 202.254:
NRS 202.254 Private person authorized to obtain background check on person who wishes to obtain firearm; no fee to be charged for background check; immunity from civil liability.
1. A private person who wishes to transfer a firearm to another person may, before transferring the firearm, request that the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History perform a background check on the person who wishes to acquire the firearm.
2. The person who requests the information pursuant to subsection 1 shall provide the Central Repository with identifying information about the person who wishes to acquire the firearm.
3. Upon receiving a request from a private person pursuant to subsection 1 and the identifying information required pursuant to subsection 2, the Central Repository shall within 5 business days after receiving the request:
(a) Perform a background check on the person who wishes to acquire the firearm; and
(b) Notify the person who requests the information whether the information available to the Central Repository indicates that the receipt of a firearm by the person who wishes to acquire the firearm would violate a state or federal law.
4. If the person who requests the information does not receive notification from the Central Repository regarding the request within 5 business days after making the request, the person may presume that the receipt of a firearm by the person who wishes to acquire the firearm would not violate a state or federal law.
5. The Central Repository may not charge a fee for performing a background check and notifying a person of the results of the background check pursuant to this section.
6. A private person who transfers a firearm to another person is immune from civil liability for failing to request a background check pursuant to this section or for any act or omission relating to a background check requested pursuant to this section if the act or omission was taken in good faith and without malicious intent.
7. The Director of the Department of Public Safety may request an allocation from the Contingency Account pursuant to NRS 353.266, 353.268 and 353.269 to cover the costs incurred by the Department to carry out the provisions of subsection 5.
(Added to NRS by 1997, 825; A 2015, 1805)
Lt. Ray Steiber: "That will save lives. Vote yes on question 1. Case closed."
This is speculation. There has been plenty of research done on both sides, but it's only speculative that this law will save lives in the Silver State.