The Background Check Initiative

The Background Check Initiative is a common-sense proposal that will close loopholes in Nevada law that make it all too easy for felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill to buy guns. We have the right to bear arms, but with rights come responsibilities. The Background Check Initiative will improve public safety in Nevada by requiring background checks for all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting, and self-defense.

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Myths vs Facts:

Background Checks

What the Background Check Initiative Does


Nevada already requires background checks for gun sales, so we don't need any new laws.


Under current law, background checks are only required for gun sales at licensed dealers. Millions of guns change hands each year between unlicensed buyers and sellers, including strangers who meet online or at gun shows -- no background check required, no questions asked. (Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, Guns in America, 1996, available at



Background checks don't work because criminals will break the law and get guns anyway.


In 2013 alone, background checks at licensed gun dealers in Nevada stopped 1,904 gun sales to prohibited people -- including 501 to felons and 374 to people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or subject to domestic violence protection orders. Closing loopholes in the background check law will make it even harder for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns. (Everytown for Gun Safety analysis of FBI data, February 12, 2014.)

Popular Support


There is not enough popular support to pass a background checks initiative in Nevada.


There is overwhelming support for requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. 86 percent of Nevada residents — including 74 percent of NRA members nationally and 55 percent of licensed gun dealers — support requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. (John L. Smith, "Support for Background Checks Broad, Deep," Las Vegas Review-Journal, November 2014, available at



If the Initiative passes, people would have to get a background check just to share guns with family members.


The Background Check Initiative includes reasonable exceptions to the background check requirement for family members, hunting, and self-defense.