Fmr. sheriff supports expanded background checks on gun sales

LAS VEGAS -- Advocates of universal background checks for gun purchases launched a new effort Monday. This one has the endorsement of former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young.

Young is helping Nevadans for Background Checks collect 100,000 signatures on its petition to get a measure on the 2016 ballot that would require background checks for most gun sales.

The former sheriff, who is now vice president of security at Station Casinos has pretty much stayed out of the spotlight since leaving office.

So the fact that he is publicly supporting this new push for universal background checks on all gun buyers is of note, in part, because he is a strong supporter of the right to bear arms.

According to the group, right now in Nevada, felons, domestic abusers, and people with severe mental illness can purchase guns from unlicensed sellers at gun shows and online with no questions asked.

Under Nevada law, only licensed gun dealers must perform background checks. Private sellers, who are Nevada residents, can sell firearms to other Nevada residents without a background check.

The new background check initiative would require all gun sales and transfers be conducted through a licensed gun dealer, making sure a background check is performed each time.

The former sheriff indicated recent events convinced him that it is time to close the loopholes.

"You know this country 30 years ago didn't seem like it suffered from these Newtowns and shootings that are almost common place unfortunately." Young said, " I can't help but think about the two police officers who were sitting eating a slice of pizza a couple of months ago, minding their own business, doing their job, eating in the community that they serve."

Nevada State Senator Justin Jones also supports the initiative.

In 2013, a poll by Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner showed 86 percent of Nevadans support universal background checks.

According to an 8 News NOW poll conducted by Survey USA last year, 76 percent of Nevadans support of background checks.

Critics say this is a law that would be impossible to enforce and that criminals will always find ways to get guns.

Last year Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a background check bill that passed both houses, calling it among other things: "an erosion of Nevadans' Second Amendment Rights."


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