69°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Background check gun bill set to be fast tracked into Nevada law

Updated February 8, 2019 - 7:13 pm

CARSON CITY — What is often a sluggish second week in the Legislature will ramp up swiftly Monday with the expected introduction of a gun sales background check bill that could be heard in committee, approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor before the end of the week.

Under that timetable, Nevada could have a workable system of stricter background checks on its books in time for Thursday’s first anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 and injured several others.

Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, discussing the measure Thursday, noted the imminent anniversary and a “desire from our folks to respect that and honor the folks affected by that.”

The bill, still being drafted Friday, is expected to fulfill the intent of a 2016 voter-approved initiative to require the FBI to perform background checks on private-party gun transfers. The FBI, as a federal agency, balked at carrying out a state-sponsored directive. The new measure is expected to set up a state procedure for the enhanced system of checks.

The legislative action is expected to draw supporters, activists and lobbyists from both sides of the gun control debate to occupy the Capitol for at least the first half of the week. Supportive Democratic majorities in both houses, with a governor who made gun control a central theme of his candidacy, virtually ensure the measure will pass.

A joint meeting of the Senate and Assembly judiciary committees is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday to hear the bill. Legislation would have to hit the floors of both the Assembly and Senate on Monday to hew to that hearing schedule. Lawmakers in both chambers would have to vote to suspend normal rules to expedite action on the bill.

Several issues might slow the measure. Suspension of rules requires two-thirds approval of each house. Democrats hold that majority in the Assembly but not in the Senate, where Republicans could decline to fast-track the bill. But Republicans might accede, viewing the push for swift action as a potential liability for Democrats down the road.

And questions of funding could shape the debate. The cost of enhanced background checks was put at $650,000 in a financial impact note that accompanied the 2016 initiative, an amount potentially offset by a $25 fee on each background check. Whether costs are covered by existing state funds or by new fees, who pays the fee and whether the fee is instead labeled a tax are all unresolved questions.

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @Dentzernews on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Sisolak signs public records reform bill into law

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that strengthens Nevada’s public records law, making it easier and cheaper for people to get public records and providing for fines if public agencies willfully flout the law.