Governor Sandoval Vetoes Gun Background Checks Bill
Posted: Jun 13, 2013 1:58 PM EST Updated: Jun 13, 2013 6:23 PM EST
Private citizens in Nevada can keep selling firearms to each other without doing background checks.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed SB221 Thursday. The measure would have mandated background checks on all gun sales and transfers in the Silver State.
In his veto message, Sandoval says the background checks sections put "unreasonable" burdens on law-abiding Nevadans while doing little to prevent criminals from getting firearms illegally.
It is a significant defeat for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control advocacy group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The organization spent hundreds of thousands of dollars working to get the bill passed through to the governor. (AP)
Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement responding to Governor Sandoval's veto of Senate Bill 221:
"I am deeply disappointed in Governor Sandoval's decision to veto this bill. People convicted of a felony or suffering from a severe mental illness should be prevented from buying a gun with a simple background check. Ninety percent of Nevadans agree and it is too bad this bill has been vetoed."
Nevada State Senator Justin Jones released the following statement after Governor Sandoval vetoed Senate Bill 221, Jones' legislation that would have implemented universal background checks for firearm purchases in Nevada:
"I am deeply disappointed that Governor Sandoval has joined with legislative Republicans in obstructing common sense legislation to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals and those with severe mental illnesses. Despite the Governor's decision, I am grateful to my Democratic colleagues in the Senate and Assembly who courageously stood with the 86% of Nevadans who support universal background checks.
"The stories shared by family members of victims of tragedies from Sandy Hook to Tucson to the IHOP a few blocks from the Governor's office touched many of us over the past few weeks. The support of these family members of victims will forever remain as an inspiration to me and my colleagues to continue to work for increased public safety and responsible gun ownership. As a father, and as a legislator, I will continue to fight to pass universal background checks in Nevada because nothing is more important than keeping our children and our families safe."
ProgressNow Nevada Executive Director Brian Fadie released the following statement today in regards to Governor Brian Sandoval's veto of SB221:
Today Governor Sandoval put criminals over the safety of you and your family.
With this veto Sandoval has kept it legal for criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill to easily and legally buy as many guns as they want with no background check.
Performing a background check during a gun sale is common sense. That's why repeated public polling showed 86 percent of Nevadans support universal background checks. It's also why Washoe County Sheriff's Office and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department came out in support of this bill.
This veto tells you all you need to know about Brian Sandoval. The overwhelming majority of Nevadans agree background checks are a common sense thing and Sandoval does the opposite because he thinks it will help his political career.
Brian Sandoval should be ashamed of so brazenly putting politics ahead of people's lives.
The Nevada State Democratic Party released the following statement in response to Governor Brian Sandoval's veto of Senate Bill 221:
"Today Governor Sandoval demonstrated it is perfectly acceptable to him for criminals and people with severe mental illnesses to continue to obtain deadly weapons. It is a clear sign of how upside-down Brian Sandoval's priorities are that he wants to make it harder for people to vote while keeping it easy for a criminal to obtain a gun. Brian Sandoval's veto today means more criminals obtaining guns and fewer Nevadans protected from gun violence. As for the Governor saying he supported the mental health reporting requirements in this bill, after overseeing the busing of hundreds of mentally ill patients out of state unsupervised, Sandoval's rhetoric on mental health is nothing more than the fox guarding the hen house."
From the Nevada Firearms Coalition:
The Nevada Firearms Coalition thanks Governor Brian Sandoval for his veto of SB 221.The Governor put the wishes of his constituents over the lobbying and advertising dollars of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
In the days since SB 221 passed the Assembly with all Republicans and four Democrats in opposition, Governor Sandoval has been bombarded with calls and e-mails urging him to pass or veto the controversial bill.Telephone calls came in such large numbers that the Governor's office had to set up a separate telephone line to handle the traffic, which was running four to one against SB 221 and in favor of a veto.
The Nevada Firearms Coalition and the NRA has vigorously opposed the bill, as have thousands of sportsman, wildlife and citizen's groups and the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, citing due process and Second Amendment concerns, and serious issues with the enforcement sections of the bill. As is frequently the case with gun control laws, the weight of SB 221 would have fallen on law-abiding gun owners, while criminals would have ignored it. It also would have disincentivized those with mental health problems from seeking help for fear of forfeiting their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
We applaud Governor Sandoval for listening to the citizens of the Silver State and letting Nevada's laws be made by Nevadans and not by out-of-state lobbyists and activists.
From the Nevada Firearms Coalition
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued the following statements:
"Rather than sign sensible legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of convicted felons and the mentally ill, Governor Sandoval has decided to preserve the loopholes that they use to buy guns," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "The state legislature and 86 percent of Nevadans support comprehensive background checks, but this veto means that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill will continue to get a free pass in Nevada."
"By vetoing legislation that would close the private sale loophole Governor Sandoval has sided with the gun lobby rather than listening to Nevadans," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "Today Governor Sandoval turned his back on the safety of his constituents."