This ballot initiative seeks to criminalize most private transfers and mandate background checks for nearly all gun transfers in Nevada, with very limited exceptions. The lawsuit challenges the wording of the initiative alleging that it inaccurately characterizes the current state of the law as a “loophole.” This initiative also does not provide voters adequate notice of its intent to alter current law to include onerous criminal penalties for a violation of the mandated background checks for private firearm transfers in Nevada.
Specifically, this ballot initiative attempts to characterize when private individuals transfer firearms as being a background check “loophole.” The lawsuit challenges this misrepresentation because current law does not require background checks to be performed on private transfers, though they can be performed at certain dealers by request. To insinuate that the current law is a loophole ignores the fact that existing law is a product of the legislative process, and that process has not enacted mandatory universal background checks.
In addition, the lawsuit challenges the ballot initiative’s failure to provide notice to voters that new criminal penalties would be instituted along with the new background check requirement. The ballot initiative does not include in its description any mention of its intention to amend current state criminal code to include a penalty for violation of the mandatory background check proposal. This penalty could carry up to a category C felony for violation.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated when more information is available.