NV gun stores prepare for changes after Question 1 passage - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

NV gun stores prepare for changes after Question 1 passage

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(FOX5 FILE) (FOX5 FILE)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Gun stores across the country were preparing for a huge number of customers the day after voters elected Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States.

Obviously, that didn't pan out exactly as planned.

Many Republicans said a Trump presidency may not be good for the gun business, in the short run, but it's great for the country.

Now, gun enthusiasts in Nevada are dealing with a different type of concern: how to get by when Question 1 takes effect. The ballot initiative aimed at closing a background check "loophole" passed by less than half a percentage point.

"We kept the Senate. We kept the House," said Bob Irwin, a Republican in charge of the Gun Store on Tropicana Avenue. "Locally, it wasn't so good."

Irwin said, in theory, he absolutely agrees with the idea of background checks, but he also said it's not that simple.

"I think they're a great idea. Nobody in this industry wants to sell guns to a criminal or to someone who beats his wife," he said. "The whole fallacy of background checks is it checks backgrounds. It doesn't look forward."

Proponents of Question 1 convinced voters that enforcing a law that would require background checks for private gun sales will help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Many Nevada sheriffs disagreed and urged voters to vote against the measure.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo, of Las Vegas Metro police, took a neutral position. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson urged voters to approve the measure. He said he believes, even if one life is saved, the measure is worth it.

Irwin has challenged Wolfson on that statement.

"If we reduce the national speed limit to 25 miles an hour, it will save hundreds of thousands of lives every year, agree?" said Irwin. "(Wolfson) said, 'Well, yeah. It would, but we can't do that.'"

"There is no relation between background checks and crime," continued Irwin. "This is not a good trade off for public safety. It's a political (expletive) stunt... What the bill is going to cause is more people to not get background checks. The background checks should be free."

Bureaucratic red tape is another big reason Irwin voted against Question 1. He said, under the current laws, there are inconsistencies and contradictions that put gun store owners in a position that is legally exposed.

"We can either decide to violate federal law or violate state law. Pick one. I get to decide which agency puts me in jail," he laughed. "We're going to create thousands of criminals who weren't criminals before, and it's only because they're poor."

When Question 1 takes effect, Irwin said he will be forced to officiate between individuals who sell a gun from one person to another. He said he will have to charge them for the background check in addition to the sales tax. He also said he will have to hold onto the gun for 30 days before the transaction can be complete. 

"That's not correct," said Jennifer Crowe, a communications director for Yes on Question 1. "As soon as the check is completed, the private sale can move forward... That’s a law that doesn’t apply to these sales. It was written to conform with other state laws."

Irwin said he is looking forward to seeing if state legislators can find a way to simplify the complex language on the ballot into a law that Gov. Brian Sandoval would be willing to sign next year. Crowe said the bill should be able to be implemented on January 1 as written. 

Sandoval urged his constituents to vote against Question 1, causing many to believe he would veto a bill with similar language if it were to be placed on his desk.

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