Lawmakers expected to rush Nevada background check bill into law

CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers are expected Tuesday to hear a new version of the background check initiative that was approved by voters two years ago but never implemented.

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It’s unclear what the bill will entail as Democrats work to create a working law that would mandate background checks be done for all private firearm gifts and sales. Language on the measure had not been posted on the Legislature’s website as of Thursday evening.

“Next week is an important week,” Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson said. “It is the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, so there was some desire from our folks to respect that and honor the folks affected by that and folks affected by gun violence in our state.”

Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, said he expects the bill language to be completed and the bill introduced Monday. A joint hearing on the bill in the Assembly and Senate judiciary committees might happen Tuesday.

“We have a desire to do that,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, sent an email to supporters Thursday that encouraged constituents to testify when the bill goes to committee. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the alert applied to constituents for or against the measure.

Moms Demand Action, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control, advertised on its website an “Advocacy Day” event Tuesday in Carson City, encouraging supporters to join them for “Gun Violence Prevention efforts.”

A Facebook page that advertises the same event reads, “SAVE THE DATE: On February 12, our volunteers will be gathering in Carson City to discuss solutions to gun violence with our elected officials. We hope you can join us!”

The law voters approved in 2016 required the FBI to perform background checks on private-party gun transfers. The FBI had said it would not do so, in part because a state cannot dictate how federal resources are used.

A district court judge in August dismissed a lawsuit that accused former Attorney General Adam Laxalt and former Gov. Brian Sandoval of not doing enough to enforce the initiative, known as the Background Check Act.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3801. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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