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State Senator Justin Jones On Background Checks


State Sen. Justin Jones

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill that would require background checks for gun sales, saying it created an unreasonable burden on those conducting the transaction, particularly on collectors looking to transfer firearms among relatives.

State Senator Justin Jones thinks that the sale of a gun is worth at least he same amount of time spent dealing with bureacracy as registering a car at the DMV.

“I really don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone to go through a five-minute background check in order to confirm that the person that they’re selling their gun to is not a felon or someone who is severely mentally ill,” says Jones. “I just don’t think that’s a harsh penalty for someone going through the sale of a gun.”

Jones says his bill, which had already passed the Assembly and the Senate, was stalled at the last minute by an organization that had originally endorsed the bill, the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs.

“I talked to law enforcement throughout this process,” says Jones. “It was only frankly in the 11th hour, when some of the rural sheriffs got involved, I suspect as a result of NRA influence, that they changed their position.”

Support comes from

According to a poll by Progress Now Nevada, 86 percent of Nevadans are in favor of universal background checks for gun owners.

“Five minutes? More than 500 licensed firearm dealers in the state?” says Jones of his bill’s requirements for getting a background check.  “I just don’t think that’s a difficult thing for the average person to do in order to ensure that they are not selling their gun to the wrong person.”

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KNPR's State of Nevada