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State senator opposes background check measure

CARSON CITY — A rural Nevada state senator was the latest conservative to come out Wednesday against a ballot initiative requiring background checks on all gun sales.

“To some, it may sound good on its face, but it will end up costing Nevadans time, money, freedom,” state Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, said in a statement.

“It will also stretch scarce law enforcement resources. Ultimately, I don’t think it will stop criminals from committing crimes,” Settelmeyer said.

Under Question 1, criminal background checks through a licensed dealer would be required for most sales or transfers of firearms. There would be limited exceptions for the transfer of guns between immediate family members; executors or administrators of estates; when necessary to prevent imminent death or harm; for hunting; or at shooting ranges or competitions.

Settelmeyer, a rancher, maintains the initiative, if passed, would turn him into a criminal because his employees have access and use of rifles used in course of his business.

Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen and Lander County Sheriff Ron Unger have previously spoken against the measure.

But supporters, including Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson — the top prosecutor in the state’s most populated county — said the measure will close a loophole and enhance public safety.

In 2013, the Democratic-controlled Nevada Legislature passed a bill expanding background check requirements, but the bill was vetoed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who said it would infringe on Nevadan’s Second Amendment rights.

Sandra Chereb/Las Vegas Review-Journal

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