Thursday, December 29, 2016

How Will the Dems Resurrect Question 1?

How can the Democrats resurrect universal background checks banning private gun sales after their humiliating defeat via the FBI and the Attorney General's opinion? We're also certainly facing a slew of anti-gun bills, not from popular desire, but from Democrats lacking any moral fiber looking to exploit their control over the legislature. This includes magazine bans. This is still Nevada, so not very much is likely to succeed, but with the new, "progressive" Democrat Party, expect them to take any dirty tricks pushing their agenda.

Let's take a look at what they might try and the chances of success.

Background checks background

For reference, remember that the Brady Bill requires background checks on all retail sales by federally licensed dealers (FFLs). States have three options:
  1. Their own Point of Contact center (Nevada and 12 other states)
  2. Use the FBI NICS system (31 states)
  3. Use state center for long gun and federal center for handgun or vise versa (seven states)
The state systems have access to the same data NICS has, plus local records (which the FBI told Attorney General Laxalt are superior to the federal system). Nevada rightly chose this system.

Get the FBI to change it's mind

Not likely. The head of the freakin' background check department said "no" to Nevada for very good reasons. With the incoming Republican Trump administration, this is unlikely to change. Plus there is the whole problem of blame pointing if a federal background check were to fail, lead to a mass shooting, when it could have been prevented by the Nevada system. If something like that were to happen, I'm sure the Democratic legislative caucus would blame "Russian hackers" or something. Maybe FBI Director Comey?

Most likely solution-legislation

Question 1 cannot be simply "fixed" in the 2017 legislative session. 
"An initiative measure so approved by the voters shall not be amended, annulled, repealed, set aside or suspended by the Legislature within 3 years from the date it takes effect." Article 19, Sec. 2 Nevada Constitution
What they can do is approve legislation, and Democrats almost certainly will, a duplicate of the same background check law on file, creating (i.e.) NRS 202.254.1, with the following changes to switch from the NICS system to the state system:

3. (a) the licensed dealer must contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, as described in 18 U.S.C. 922(t), and not the Central Repository Nevada Department of Public Safety Point of Contact Center, to determine whether the buyer or transferee is eligible to purchase and possess firearms under state and federal law; 

4. A licensed dealer who agrees to conduct a background check pursuant to this section shall inform the seller or transferor and the buyer or transferee of the response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Nevada Department of Public Safety Point of Contact Center. if the response indicated that the buyer or transferee is ineligible to purchase or poesses the firearm, the licensed dealer shall return the firearm to the seller or transferor and the seller or transferor shall not sell or transfer the firearm to the buyer or transferee.

This will incur a fiscal impact, which is why the Bloomberg groups didn't put this method on the ballot in the first place, as Nevada doesn't have much money to go around. They ought to have checked with the FBI beforehand.

This leaves us with the problem of two laws on the books with one DOA (Question 1). Of course, that makes it so much easier for a Republican legislature to eradicate it in 2019, god-willing. Question 1 is therefore not "amended" and is basically left alone. But getting really technical, compliance with the new universal background check law would leave you in violation of Question 1. Way to go Democrats...

Switch from state POC to NICS for all background checks?

Not likely. Doing this would have to ignore the irrefutable statement from the FBI (which is true also) that the Nevada system has better records and is superior to NICS. If the anti-gunners are truly about safety (which they aren't), they'd have chosen the state system to begin with and avoid this whole problem. Instead, they looked for a silver bullet that ended up being nothing more than shiny lead. If they tried this, they then have to explain why the inferior federal system should be used to block a handful of private gun sales.

Then we get to money. Can Nevada really afford to absorb losing the background check fees? NICS is free to the consumer, despite what the dealer might charge for their transfer service. The Department of Public Safety runs all retail sale background checks in Nevada. Currently, they run around 100,000 a year, totaling about $2.5 million in fees, a sizeable portion of income. Not all of it goes to the Point of Contact system, but is likely absorbed by DPS as a whole.
"The Department has indicated that, if licensed dealers are required to access NICS directly for background checks on all gun sales, this would result in the elimination of approximately 13 positions and a loss in revenue of approximately $2.7 million per year, which is used to support the current operations of the CHR [Criminal History Repository]. This loss in revenue would result in a negative financial impact upon state government, as additional revenue would be required from the State General Fund or other sources to supplant revenues used to support the CHR’s functions." (source)

Nevada Point of Contact background check figures

2010 = 91,104
2011 = 104,299
2012 = 126,276
2013 = 120,919
2014 = 95,427
2015 = 102,305
2016 = 103,589 (through 11/30/2016)

Now how many private sales/transfers will there be? Will there be enough fees coming in to justify the additional workload? One estimate was that it would cost an addition $450,000, which might be recouped in fees, but that's just an estimate. No one really knows how many private sale background checks there would be, but it stands to be a waste of money given the lack of any real return to public safety. It stands to be seen if the more traditional Democrats (the non-progressive, frothing at the mouth liberals) from rural counties really want to pay for something their constituents didn't support.

Will the governor veto gun control bills? Can the Dems override a veto?

Gov. Sandoval is somewhat of a wildcard, being a moderate Republican, but he has shown strong support for the Second Amendment. He successfully vetoed SB 221, passed by Democrats in 2013, which lead to Question 1. He also publicly opposed Question 1. Even if he is a horse-trader, it would be difficult for him to later reconcile in any other election why he suddenly flip-flopped. Odds are he would likely veto any anti-gun legislation again, but he would need your support and encouragement.

The governor has five days to veto any bill, but the legislature can override a veto by a 2/3rd majority vote. If the bill is vetoed, but the legislature is out of session, the governor has 10 days to veto it, where the next session of the legislature (remember special sessions, not just regular) can attempt to override the veto. (Article 4, Sec. 35, Nevada Constitution)

27 Democrats (supermajority)
15 Republicans

12 Democrats
9 Republicans

Republican senate candidate Patricia Farley defected from the Republican Party to become an independant senator who will caucus with the Democrats (she is counted as one). Democrats are still short two votes of a supermajority in the senate which can override vetos.

First, anything can happen, but veto overrides are not exactly common and if the bill is vetoed after the session adjourns, a year or so will pass before there is another chance to override it and plenty of minds can change in that time. Also, all counties but Clark County voted "no" on Question 1 and it failed the popular vote, save for Clark County voters, meaning that there is very little popular support for more background checks in the rural and northern counties. It's not hard to imagine one or more Democrat senators failing to vote along party lines, especially to overturn a veto, when the majority of their constituents oppose the law. Or one can hope.

If all else fails, Nevadans will probably ignore the law to some degree. We already know that law enforcement would enforce it selectively and that in other states, particularly Washington where only one charge has been filed after a murder was committed, don't aggressively prosecute violations. Most people do want to follow the law and will do so, as long as it is not cumbersome, and so most will get background checks out of fear/respect for the system or simply not buy guns privately.

Massive non-compliance regarding other laws, such as magazine restrictions, is already commonplace in Colorado, which restricted magazine capacity to 15 in 2013. Standard capacity magazines can be found openly for sale on gun store shelves. Californians are set to not comply with the ex post facto magazine ban for 2017, and the same behavior has been seen in New York and Connecticut. Nevadans are likely to take a more hostile attitude and totally disregard a magazine ban that no one would dare enforce, unless Scummy Joe Lombardo wants to start pushing a black and white again.

Gun control will probably cause the Democrats to lose their control over the legislature, if not outright flip it again. They don't seem to be aware the reason they got the legislature this year was because of the turnout for the presidential vote and backlash against the RINOs spectacular failure. A successful Republican Trump administration is likely to change many minds to be favorable towards the Republican party. As always, ex-pat Californians who bring their Democrat voting patterns with them, minority groups who have been co-opted by liberal lies, and voter fraud are always a problem. Nevada may be lost, but it will not be lost because of an honest vote.

And hell, worst case scenario, gun owners know what the Second Amendment is for. Democrats seems to fail to remember that in history, an angry and armed populace does not take kindly to tyranny. Just ask the Redcoats that tried to take the arms and ammunition in Concord how that worked out.

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