Question 1 proves to be most controversial ballot measure

By Karen Castro |, Mark Mutchler

Published 10/25 2016 03:41PM

Updated 10/25 2016 03:41PM

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Question 1 is among the most controversial ballot measures in Nevada. It even has law enforcement from across the state at odds.

Proponents say background checks will keep communities safe while the opposition says it will do nothing to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

Sitting alongside a panel of Question 1 supporters, Julie Proctor with Safe House shares the tragic story of a murdered mother.

Christina Franklin's ex-boyfriend shot and killed her in front of their children at a North Las Vegas daycare earlier this year.

"The background check loophole in Nevada made it easy for him to buy the gun used to kill Christina from a stranger," Proctor said.

Question 1 would require private guns sales to go through a licensed dealer who would do a federal background check. The current state law does not require one for transfers between unlicensed individuals.

"What we're saying is two strangers coming together for the sale of a gun, you need to have a background check, know who you're dealing with, know who you're selling to," said retired Metro homicide Lt. Ray Steiber.

He is featured in one of many television ads advocating for Question 1.

The measure also includes a number of exemptions including: temporary transfer for the purpose of self-defense and hunting as we all permanent transfers by law enforcement and between immediate family.

"There is pages long regulatory screed that has very narrow exemptions that are confusing,"  said Ryan Hamilton, deputy director, NRA Nevadans for Freedom.

He believes Question 1 will cost law-abiding gun owners time, money, and freedom and it will not stop criminals from buying guns.

"The possessors never get a background check, they steal it, they purchase it illegally, they buy it from a straw purchaser," Hamilton said.

The measure, which would also require background checks for online sells, is opposed by the majority of the sheriffs in the state, many who are also featured on TV ads.

Metro Sheriff Joe Lombardo is remaining neutral.

However, a number of law enforcement organizations are supporting Question 1.

"Even if we can save one or two people, that's a huge success for us," Proctor said.

Out of all the measures on the ballot, Question 1 has generated the most money. Supporters have received more than $18 million, about 75 percent coming from "Every Town for Gun Safety" which is an organization founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The opposition has raised nearly $5 million almost entirely donated by the NRA.


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