Protesters demand Nevada governor, attorney general carry out gu - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Protesters demand Nevada governor, attorney general carry out gun background checks

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Protesters call for action on added gun background checks on Feb. 23, 2018. (Tiana Bohner/FOX5) Protesters call for action on added gun background checks on Feb. 23, 2018. (Tiana Bohner/FOX5)

A Nevada judge is hearing both sides on the hotly debated gun background checks. In 2016, Nevadans voted in favor of added background checks, but the governor and attorney general have yet to implement it, saying it is not enforceable.

The new law is aimed to keep guns from felons and the mentally ill.

Right now, you can get a gun through a private sale or online without a background check.

“It's crazy, it's goofy,” former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young said. “You go to Bass Pro Shops, you got to get a background check.”

Young said this issue hits close to home. He has two sons who work at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and his daughter was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1.

“It was the worst 30 minutes of my life,” he said. Young remembers her phone call from the chaos.

“She never screams and yells. She was never terrified like that. I could hear the machine gun firing in the background,” Young said.

His daughter found shelter, but Young said it scarred their family.

“It’s beyond belief to me that after that event, we're going to sit here and continue to fight the will of the people,” he said. “We the people have voted for this law.”

Young added he believes this isn’t about the Second Amendment.

“The Second Amendment is going to stand forever,” he said.  [This law] it's not going to stop one legitimate gun person. Not one. [It will] simply protect us from someone who shouldn't have a gun. It’s that simple.”

But the attorney general issued a statement, stating the new law is “unenforceable.” The issue is the way the law is written.

However, that’s an answer people at Friday’s rally will not accept.

“Stalling on this issue and using semantics as a way not to enforce it is killing people,” MOMS Demand Action volunteer Elizabeth Becker said.

FOX5 also reached out to Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

The governor’s office sent us this statement:

"It is the intent of the Governor to enforce all lawful ballot initiatives passed by the citizens of Nevada.  Clearly, the voters of Nevada have indicated that they want background checks for the private party sale of firearms."

The legal gridlock created by the drafters of Ballot Question One is frustrating for all parties involved.

Ballot Question One required the FBI, not the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety, run the required background checks.  The Department of Public Safety has asked the FBI to perform the background checks both verbally and in writing.  The FBI has consistently responded that it will not conduct the checks because the Nevada ballot initiative cannot dictate how federal resources are applied. “

Attorney General Laxalt’s office sent a similar statement, reiterating the governor’s comments:

“The Attorney General does not enforce or implement background checks. We stand by our opinion that the drafters of the initiative erred by assuming that the FBI would be willing to run the background checks required by Nevada’s initiative.  The FBI has now repeatedly said that it will not run those background checks.  Nevadans in favor of private party background checks should direct their frustration at the drafters of the flawed Background Check initiative. In areas not foreclosed by the flawed drafting, the Attorney General’s Office has provided advice, explaining why the State could conduct voluntary checks for private firearm sales.”

As for Friday’s hearing, the judge has 90 days to issue his ruling.

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