Lawsuit over background check question dismissed
August 21, 2018
Nevada District Court Judge Joe Hardy in Clark County on Monday dismissed a lawsuit against Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt for not implementing a background check proposal approved by voters.
Voters approved in 2016 Question 1 which sought to strengthen background checks on private gun sales.
Three residents sued Sandoval and Laxalt after the Las Vegas mass shooting last October.
Hardy stated in his 22-page opinion "as a matter of law, […] given the undisputed efforts to implement The Background Check Act, it is unenforceable as written."
"The court's 22-page decision reaffirms what my office has been saying all along — that the act 'is unenforceable as written,'" said Laxalt. "This is not because of anything that I or other Nevada officials have failed to do; in the words of the court, we have 'undertaken a real and substantial effort to implement the law.' Rather, it is a result of Question 1's flawed drafting. It is unfortunate that the very same people who imposed this defective law on all Nevadans have gone to such lengths to use its brokenness as a reason to politically attack me and other Nevada's elected officials through litigation. Hopefully, today's careful decision puts an end to this practice."
Laxalt's office also stated after Question 1 was passed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wrote to the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) on two occasions stating they wouldn't conduct the background checks for Nevada because, among other reasons, a state law cannot mandate how federal resources are allocated.