Wes Duncan, a Republican candidate for attorney general, says that the authors of Question 1 are to blame for the background check initiative not going into effect. Duncan also defended Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Las Vegas Metro from a media lawsuit seeking more information on the Oct. 1 shooting.
Duncan made his comments while appearing on Nevada Politics Today.
Question 1 passed narrowly last year, and supporters are furious that Gov. Brian Sandoval has yet to implement the background check law. Late in 2016, the office of the current Attorney General Adam Laxalt issued an opinion that the law was constitutionally flawed. Duncan agreed with that assessment.
“But the question that came from the Department of Public Safety is whether or not this is enforceable,” Duncan said about Question 1. “The way that the background check law was written didn’t allow for the enforcement of this as a point of contact state.”
A main theme of Duncan’s campaign is making Nevada a safer place. Asked if that included new gun laws, Duncan didn’t recommend any changes. He noted that the Oct. 1 shooter had passed background checks.
Police have yet to release documents from the Oct. 1 shooting investigation, including 911 calls and security footage. Media organizations, including the Review-Journal, have sued for those documents. Duncan expressed his support for Metro making those documents public when it’s further along in its investigation.
“While there’s an active investigation that’s going on, they typically don’t want to release a bunch of details until they have a great idea of what really happened,” said Duncan. “I think we should continue to let the process play out and trust Sheriff Lombardo and others that they’re doing the right thing.”
Duncan had previously called for Sen. Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, to release a taxpayer-funded report on sexual harassment allegations made against former state Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas. Manendo resigned after the report Ford commissioned was completed. Duncan made his request after news broke about sexual harassment allegations against U.S. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who was previously part of Ford’s caucus. Ford is also running for attorney general.
“I think the report should be released if the victim’s confidentiality can be protected,” said Duncan. He noted that as both a prosecutor and military lawyer, he has experience redacting information from sensitive documents.
Duncan also expressed his belief that the AG’s office, not local counties, should be suing opioid manufacturers.