A group behind a ballot initiative that Nevada voters approved last year expanding gun background checks to unlicensed dealers is suing the governor and attorney general to try to make them enforce it.
The measure mandating FBI background checks on private-party gun sales passed by less than 1 percentage point in November after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a similar measure in 2013.
Attorney General Adam Laxalt has maintained that the new law can’t be enforced after the FBI informed the state in December it wants Nevada’s Department of Public Safety to conduct the checks itself in the same way it has done for commercial gun sales by licensed dealers since 1998.
Laxalt’s office issued a new legal opinion on Thursday that says the state can ask for the FBI’s cooperation to finding a solution, but he warned that any changes in the state’s existing system could result in further complications.
Nevadans for Background Checks filed the new lawsuit Thursday in Clark County District Court. They argue the ballot measure effectively changed the state system to dictate that the FBI perform the background checks.
“Regrettably, due to Governor Sandoval’s refusal to act and a flawed and incomplete opinion from the Attorney General, the Background Check Act has not been enforced and remains in limbo, contravening the will of the people of the Nevada who exercised their constitutional right to change the law to promote public safety and protect the communities of this state,” the lawsuit said.
Groups were pushing for the law’s implementation months before a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, killing 58 and wounding more than 500 in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
They say that even though the gun background check law may not have been able to prevent the shooter from obtaining his guns, it would help keep firearms out of the hands of those who are suicidal or a threat to others.
“Last week was a terrifying wake-up call about why strong gun laws matter and parents like me won’t sit idly by as our leaders refuse to do their jobs,” said Elizabeth Becker, a volunteer with the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“Our governor and attorney general now face a clear choice: Will they keep dragging their feet on enforcing the law voters passed last year, or will they start working with the FBI to implement it?” she said in a statement Friday.
Sandoval said when he vetoed a similar measure in 2013 that it eroded Second Amendment rights. His press secretary, Mari St. Martin, said Thursday the governor intends to review the new opinion from the attorney general.
ICE Barricades Entrances to Prevent Protestors from Entering Government Building
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers barricaded an employee and visitor entrance Wednesday to prevent activists from performing an “occupation” of the agency’s D.C. headquarters.
Several dozen activists had intended to enter the building to protest Trump administration deportation and border detention policies, but arrived to find temporary fencing and a line of officers blocking their way.
Amid heavy rain, activists chanted slogans anyhow, including “quit your jobs!” at Department of Homeland Security guards and ICE employees who peered from windows.
The protest was organized by Movimiento Cosecha and was advertised in a press release as a demonstration by “undocumented activists and allies,” as similar protests occur in other cities.
NRA Weird Starts Political Campaign Ads Against Ocasio-Cortez
Claiming that 22 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a threat to America, the NRA has started pushing political ads that attack candidates that they don’t support.
“Left-wing socialists have infiltrated our nation and want to fundamentally change the country we love,” NRATV host Grant Stinchfield warns. “The socialist movement in America is real. It is dangerous. And it is more powerful than you may think.”
“The socialist movement in America is real, it’s dangerous… The election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who openly despises the very system that makes America the greatest country in the world proves we must take every election seriously.” —@stinchfield1776 #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/C25QwWsgRv
— NRATV (@NRATV) June 27, 2018
WATCHDOG: NRA Russian Dark Money Funded Pro-Trump Ads Illegally
Watchdogs say an unknown amount of Russian dark money funneled through the National Rifle Association helped Donald Trump win the presidency.
The NRA is claiming they only received a few donations from Russia, but refuses to allow its books to be audited.
Robert Maguire is an investigator with the Center for Responsive Politics, which runs opensecrets.org. He said the dark money loophole that allows nonprofits to take limitless donations without reporting the source means we can’t really tell how much foreign money was spent in the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s safe to assume that what we’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg,” Maguire said. “The problem is that there’s no way to track that.”
But that figure does not include large payments from U.S. subsidiaries of companies owned by Russian oligarchs. Investigators have found such payments went to others in Trump’s orbit.
Direct foreign funding of American campaigns is illegal and could be politically toxic.
Maguire said the problem is that it might also be invisible.
And he pointed out that in the 2016 presidential race, the NRA spent three-times what it had supporting Mitt Romney in 2012 – and the money came just as big GOP donors were distancing themselves from Trump.
“The NRA spent more money than it has in any previous cycle,” Maguire said. “Without the NRA stepping into that vacuum, it would have severely impacted the chances that he would have won the election.”
Maguire said the NRA got what it paid for. After the Parkland shooting, Trump said he might back some gun-control measures – until the National Rifle Association got involved.
“The NRA in a matter of weeks had two private meetings with the president,” Maguire observed; “and we saw those sort of initiatives kind of fade away.”
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