For the first time since Ronald Reagan, President Donald Trump delivered a speech at an annual meeting of the National Rifle Association Friday. Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt also spoke at the convention. However, his appearance has angered groups that worked to pass the gun background check initiative.
Nevadans for Background Checks says Attorney General Laxalt needs to do his job and enforce the gun background check law.
The background check law passed as Question 1 by a one-point margin, less than 10,000 votes out of over a million cast statewide.
State law now requires background checks on all gun sales, including private sales. The initiative petition specified that the FBI’s database is used to conduct the background checks. However, about a month after the election the FBI said it would not perform the background checks.
Laxalt then issued a legal opinion saying the law was unenforceable essentially because the state could not tell a federal agency what to do. Advocates for broader background checks rejected the notion, and on Friday they urged Laxalt to enforce the law.
The timing of organizers holding their event the same time Laxalt was addressing the NRA was not a coincidence. Especially, since Laxalt criticized the new law.
“After tens of millions of dollars, with myself, the top law enforcement officer, and every elected sheriff in Nevada saying that this would not make the people safer and that it was poorly written, it passed by a few thousand votes,” Laxalt said.
“I think it’s shameful. It’s proof that he’s playing politics with what should be policy, and to me, folks should be alarmed about that and should be calling on him to come home and do his job,” said State Senator Yvanna Cancela, D-Clark County.
Background check advocates point to what they say was a 20 percent rise in gun violence statewide during Laxalt’s first year in office.
Nevadans for Background Checks spent $19 million in the effort to pass the law. Opponents, including the NRA, spent about $6.5 million.