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Senate Passes GOP Bill Making Gun Background Checks Free

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Senate has passed a bill to make background checks on gun sales free, although it wouldn't make them mandatory.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson is sponsoring SB240, which passed Thursday in unanimous vote. Democrats unsuccessfully tried to add amendments barring guns for convicted stalkers and requiring people under restraining orders to turn over their firearms.

SB240 prohibits mentally ill convicts from owning a gun and removes the $35 fee for background checks for private gun sales. The bill also beefs up reporting requirements on criminal history and mental illness.

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Roberson said the bill would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill without infringing on constitutional rights.

A separate measure mandating background checks on gun purchases will appear on the 2016 ballot.