On December 28, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt issued an opinion blocking the implementation of the universal background checks Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety secured via a “narrowly approved” November 8 ballot initiative.
Like the Washington state initiative that Bloomberg-funded Everytown secured in November 2014, the Nevada initiative would have required Nevada residents to go through a background check for every gun sale, whether retail or private. The checks were supposed to go into effect on January 1, but Laxalt has now halted the process.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Laxalt found the checks “unenforceable” because the Background Check Act “grants the Nevada Department of Public Safety no authority to perform the private-party checks required by the Act.” Instead, it requires “intermediaries” to run the checks through the FBI background check database. These “intermediaries” would be licensed firearms dealers.
On December 14 — just five weeks after voters approved the checks — the FBI opted out and informed Nevada DPS that it will not allow its checks to be run by intermediaries. The FBI explained that it will only allow its database to be accessed if the checks “are conducted as any other background check for firearms.” In other words, run with the Nevada DPS serving as “Point of Contact” for the sale. However, the language of the Act makes this an impossibility because it granted Nevada DPS “no authority” to run the checks.
In light of these things, Laxalt issued a December 28 opinion in which he explained how the linguistic twists and turns of Question 1 — the Bloomberg-supported ballot initiative — actually rendered the checks “unenforceable.” Laxalt noted: “Under longstanding legal principles, Nevadans are not required to perform the impossible, and therefore excused from compliance with the Act’s background check requirement unless and until the FBI changes it position set for in its December 14, 2016, letter.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.