Opposition to gun background check law grows

“This effort to challenge this law, I don’t take this lightly. When we decide not to enforce that law, that’s an important decision. The way I made that decision was, we know what the goal is of those who want to pass this bill. At some point they want to take our guns. … They don’t just all of a sudden come out and confiscate guns. There are a lot of things that happen first, and this is one of them. And so, do we stand up now, or do we wait and stand up when they come to get the guns?”

— Elko Commissioner Demar Dahl at Wednesday commission meeting


— Shouts from the audience

Apparently there was nary a discouraging word when the Elko County Commission voted unanimously for a resolution declaring the county a Second amendment sanctuary county. Similar sentiments are being expressed by commissioners and sheriffs in other rural counties after lawmakers early in this year’s legislative session passed Senate Bill 143, which requires background checks to be conducted prior to the sale or transfer of any firearm by a private individual to anyone other than an immediate family member. It passed both the state Senate and Assembly without a single Republican vote and Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill immediately.

The Elko resolution concludes, according to the Elko Daily Free Press:

“Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Elko County Board of Commissioners that Elko County is a Sanctuary County for the Second Amendment; and be it further resolved that this Board affirms its support of the duly elected Elko County Sheriff in the exercise of his sound discretion to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms laws against any citizen; and be it further resolved that this Board will not authorize or appropriate any funds or resources for the purpose of enforcing law that infringes on the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

The new gun law was an effort to fix the flawed ballot measure narrowly approved by voters in 2016. The backers of the ballot initiative, Question 1, tried to avoid having a fiscal note saying how much the background checks would cost Nevada taxpayers by requiring the checks to be run through an FBI database and not the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, which handles all background checks for federally licensed gun dealers in the states. The FBI refused to do the checks and the attorney general declared the law unenforceable and a district court judge agreed.

SB143 requires the state criminal history repository to be used.

Question 1 passed with only 50.45 percent of the voters approving it, failing in every county except Clark. Ninety percent of Eureka County voters rejected it, as did 82 percent in Elko and White Pine, 74 percent in Nye, 88 percent in Lincoln, 76 percent in Mineral and 89 percent in Esmeralda, for example.

At the Elko Commission meeting Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza was quoted as saying, “It is my intention that Elko County sends a strong message to the people of Nevada. Listen to us and do not infringe on our Second Amendment rights.”

Elko Commissioner Rex Steninger was quoted as saying, “Registration is the first step to confiscation. History is littered with what happens when they take our guns away. I did a little research on this. One source estimated 56 million people were exterminated in the 20th century following gun registration and confiscation.”

Douglas County commissioners passed a similar resolution earlier this month.

A number of county sheriffs have called the law unenforceable.

Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiz addresses the county commission. (Elko Daily Free Press pix)

11 comments on “Opposition to gun background check law grows

  1. Steve says:

    The law goes into effect in January.
    The state should immediately begin compiling records of all BGC’s for comparison against current levels of gun sales under existing law. (this should be easy, because all those BGC’s should be recorded, right?)
    By 2020, there should be enough data to determine whether this new UBGC law has any real effect or is just another feel good, do nothing, emotionally inspired pile of dreck.
    And, if the law is shown to be a worthwhile endeavor preventing significant numbers of mentally disturbed/criminal elements from obtaining weapons outside the underground sources they more likely use right now, then that will be a very good thing and we should support increasing the underground black market.

    Because that is what the effects of banning or over controlling access to, anything at all. Remember Levi’s behind the Iron Curtain?

  2. Anonymous says:

    There may well be legal precedent for county actions to prevent their own employees enforcing a state law.
    Like Marijuana law, the federal government cannot require states to assist in any way at all in enforcing federal law deemed unconstitutional by the state. It’s called the anti commandeering doctrine and it may hold up for counties in enforcing state law.
    Moreover, law enforcement has the power to choose which laws to enforce, like choosing to stop either a jaywalker or a speeder. Police simply do not have to enforce all the laws and they certainly do not on a daily basis.
    Nevada’s rural counties may be on solid constitutional/legal grounds in this issue.

    To add to the mix Missouri may be passing a second amendment law soon, it passed before but their governor vetoed it. It’s coming again and is very likely to pass their legislature. If their governor signs it, the whole state of Missouri will become a 2ND Amendment Sanctuary State by outlawing any state employee providing any assistance to federal authorities in policing gun bans. Since the feds absolutely rely on state help to enforce federal laws, there would effectively be no federal UBGC in the state of Missouri and no bump stock ban either.

    Not sure about the veracity of the source here, but the links are all solid and go straight to good original sources.


  3. Steve says:

    The Missouri post is mine.

  4. Rincon says:

    1) As long as some states have no background checks and anyone can drive from state to state with a trunk load of firearms, universal background checks in individual states cannot be effective.

    2) 84-94% of American citizens advocate universal background checks for all gun sales, so our federal government is purposefully ignoring a huge mandate. When they can easily ignore that many voters, it’s clear that money runs elections.

    3) As usual, the conservative contingent has no suggestions for dealing with the fact that we are the most violent of all developed nations, unless we count their stupid idea of imprisoning a greater percentage of our people than almost any other nation (hint: It isn’t working). It’s hard to accept your negativity about background checks when you present no alternative, especially when you totally ignore the far greater success of most other developed nations.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Like banning Levis in the old Soviet Union, making it ever harder to legally obtain weapons will only drive those transactions ever deeper underground.
    And look where that approach got the Soviet Union.

  6. Steve says:

    Did it again.

    Levis is me.

  7. Rincon says:

    Other countries have succeeded remarkably. But we can’t. I guess that’s what American exceptionalism means.

  8. Anonymous says:

    OH indeed, and that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the societal influences in the multitudinous examples?

  9. Rincon says:

    OK, let’s look at that. To start, essentially all of these successful nations have stricter laws regarding firearms than we do. Coincidence? Or perhaps these laws are associated with attitudes among the population that large numbers of firearms in the hands of any Tom, Dick, or Harry are a bad idea. That is, maybe they like gun control because they are more peaceful and law abiding than us on average. Whatever it is, they are succeeding while we are failing, just like other third world countries. OK, we’re not really third world; we just resemble them in several ways.

  10. Steve says:

    Every country resembles the third world in several ways.

    Take your pick.

    For me, the ones the USA resembles are the least offensive.

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