Question 1 is bad for Nevadans, bad for gun owners, and bad for public safety. Vote no on 1.
The biggest question is, why is a billionaire from New York City, Michael Bloomberg, trying to buy a gun control law in Nevada? Why did he do it in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, etc. and trying to do so right now in Maine as well? We know from various statements and other sources that the ultimate goal is gun registration and ideally an Australian gun control scheme complete with confiscations.
Background checks are just a lie sold to a gullible, low-information public to accept temporary safety at the expense of liberty. There is no gun show or internet loophole and background checks can always be done by a dealer between any two parties who want one.
Now Question 1 is being sold to the public as “background checks on all gun sales”; an absolute weasel word phrase. The majority of guns sales come through dealers and various studies have shown that private sales of the type Question 1 would prohibit are not the main, or even top source of criminals’ guns. Private gun sales create a problem for gun registration because it is a market that cannot be accurately tracked.
Universal background checks are unenforceable without knowing definitively who actually owns the gun, so by its very nature, a universal background check needs gun registration. Gun registration needs not background checks, but guns to go through gun dealers. A retroactive gun registration requirement would be met with massive non-compliance and outright rebellion, so, as in the case of California in particular, the preferred method to gun registration is via dealer sale/transaction reporting (see the California DROS-Dealers’ Record of Sale).
Once all guns sales/transactions must go through dealers, they are recorded on ATF Form 4473s, which creates a scattered, analogue gun registry now. However, as California does, requiring dealers to report the sales/transactions to the government will gradually create a registry of every new gun sold and every used gun that legally changes hands. Eventually, through sales/trades of used guns, or a winnowing of exemptions (California recently eliminated the exemption for family member trades or sales), virtually all used guns, after many many years, will be in the registry as well.
Wrapping up the gun registration rabbit hole, the curious question is: Why would Question 1 require private gun sales/transfers to go through the federal NICS system while Nevada has a more complete state system that has local and federal records? Easy; once enough states have banned private sales and have their checks run through NICS, it is so much easier to have Congress pass a federal dealer reporting, aka gun registration, system built on a foundation of NICS background checks.
Answering my above question about Mr. Bloomberg (and not speculating on his personal motives), the only answer is once again is an insidious plot to gradually introduce a gun registry. In 2013, the universal background checks bills in Congress were shut down and many losses happened in other states, including Nevada. Stymied by politicians and checks and balances, Bloomberg’s hydra-headed gun control groups and the other usual suspects began to exploit weak, ‘purple’ states with large numbers of Democrats. In Oregon, the governor signed a bill into law.
Since so many state legislatures and governors, such as our own Gov. Sandoval, shut down this latest gun control scheme, the anti-gun groups had to find a way around such obstacles. Ballot initiatives don’t have any checks and balances; 51% of voters can even amend state constitutions. Using the guise of public safety, and lots and lots of money, people who don’t understand the issue can essentially be “bought” into voting away their gun rights. That’s what happened in Washington in 2014, and possibly in Nevada and Maine as well. The exploitation of the initiative system by the rich should horrify and enrage all Americans.
As for the law itself, it will bring Nevadans no benefit. Under Washington’s version, only one prosecution has been brought, and that was only after the victim was killed. All this law can be, in practical terms, is an additional charge after the fact (or at the worst, harassment of gun owners). As it stands, prosecutions for prohibited persons attempting to buy guns, or actually being in possession, are dismally low, especially in Nevada. In California, which has had similar laws for many years, background checks did not stop the San Bernardino terrorists (who were actually eligible to buy guns) nor the legions of gang violence of the year. In fact, most imported crime guns in Nevada come from California.
This law will disproportionately affect women, Blacks, Hispanics, and the LGBT community. Women and minorities have historically been uncomfortable in gun stores and may be deterred from owning a gun because the route they feel comfortable with, buying from a friend or relative, will be non-existent. Additionally, the strict regulation of transfers would prohibit one member of an unmarried, live-in couple using the other member’s firearm without a background check. Even with a legal temporary transfer, the gun’s owner must get a background check himself for the borrower to legally return the gun.
This law is a dog’s breakfast. It is so terribly written that one can look at similar bills in various states from 2013 and see its evolution. The intent is not safety; it’s about gun registration.
On the ground, signs and bumper stickers for “No on Question 1” far outnumber the “yeses.” Everytown issued an email recently complaining of gun owners filming “yes” supporters at early voting sites. They left out this was in response to repeated violations by Everytown volunteers of the electioneering laws. The “harassment” was actually discouraged Everytown volunteers walking away from “No” supporters when prospective voters regularly voiced their opposition to Question 1. It was so frequent that “yes” volunteers were demoralized enough to where they remarked to colleagues that they “couldn’t take it anymore” and wandered away.
Unfortunately, many Nevadans and even gun owners don’t know the details of the Question. The various TV ads can create only interest to seek out more information. If Question 1 is passed, it will have succeeded thanks to millions poured in to buffalo voters and because the general ignorance of voters was being exploited. We can guarantee that if Question 1 passes, a slew of gun control legislation and initiatives will follow, including “gun violence restraining orders” and the gradual roll-back of Nevada’s excellent gun laws.