Nevada Background Check Initiative Can’t Be Implemented

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Years all rolled into one: Bloomberg spent 20 million dollars in Nevada to secure a razor thin win, and he still gets nothing. The Attorney General in Nevada checked with the FBI and the law as it was written is simply not implementable. The FBI stated that states can’t commander federal policy on the matter, and that they refuse to conduct the checks in accordance with the way Bloomberg’s new law requires. How is this so? Hilariously, it’s a pretty simple mistake.

The issue is that Nevada is designated as a Point-of-Contact (POC) state, meaning that, like Pennsylvania, they have a state background check system that is designated by the FBI to conduct background checks under the Brady Act. Bloomberg’s new law states that the checks have to be conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Check System. Given that Nevada is a POC state, the FBI will not conduct checks on behalf of Nevada. The law cannot be complied with, and is therefore completely unworkable and unenforceable.

Never interrupt your enemy when they are in the middle of making a mistake, and always have a backup plan in case your main plan fails. In this case, it looks like we did.

It’s hard to believe Bloomberg sunk 20 million dollars into this with such a glaring error. I will admit I did not read the ballot initiative carefully enough to notice this, but once I started reading the opinion it was obvious. Nevada is a POC state! FBI doesn’t allow dealers to use NICS.

No doubt this won’t be the end of this controversy, since I imagine they’ll attempt to get a judge to bend the plain wording of the language to match Bloomberg’s drafter’s intent rather than what they actually wrote. I imagine someone at LCAV is seething right about now. We’ve benefitted a lot from their lack of real expertise and experience in this area of law. To be honest, their people just aren’t very good, and we should be thankful for that.

27 Responses to “Nevada Background Check Initiative Can’t Be Implemented”

  1. The base guidance on all of this, and on any issue, in fact, is, “If you don’t know a @#$ing thing about X, then don’t try to legislate X.”

  2. Donny Anonny says:


    • Garrett Lee says:

      For the love of G-d, man, put in some line breaks…

      • Sebastian says:

        I’ve fixed it. I really need to update the theme.

        • Ian Argent says:

          Maybe take a crack at the issue where some comments don’t get word-wrapped until after they’ve gone under the sidebars while you’re at it :)

          (nag, nag, nag; I know. For all I know, it’s impossible to fix “economically”)

        • Garrett Lee says:

          I like the theme, Sebastian. (And Bitter.) It’s just the occasional comment thread problems.

          • Sebastian says:

            There’s a new version of the theme I’m using. The only reason I haven’t upgraded it is because I customized a lot of it.

  3. James says:

    Donny, I had the same initial reaction at NV/Bloomberg’s statist Rube Goldberg unicorn scheme. But I’m an adult. Still, hahahhahaahahhhahhahh….

  4. Sebastian says:

    This blog will not be an outlet for Sandy Hook or Aurora thrutherism. Take that crazy somewhere else. Further posts will also be deleted.

  5. Zermoid says:

    Ummmm, perhaps demanding they follow the new law in Nevada is a good thing. Think about it, the law requires a background check that cannot be done, therefore complying with this new law would mean no background checks whatsoever, would it not?
    No I didn’t read it, but that’s the way it sounds from what you posted.
    Interesting thought, no?

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      If you read the NV AG’s opinion, it spells out because the law requires an impossibility which was not intended, the law is unenforceable and no citizen can be punished for violating it.

    • Archer says:

      It depends on how you interpret it. I’d like to see it your way (boy, howdy!), but most likely it’s more like, “A background check is required before a gun sale can proceed, so if no background check can be performed, no gun sales can proceed.”

      That reading would run afoul of the legal principle that says the law cannot demand what is impossible, but since when has that stopped activist judges?

      • Publius says:

        I think your interpretation is far more realistic–if it were 1990. That (give or take a few years) was the high water mark. Now, I don’t think that will work–but there’s enough inertia I would be surprised (but not shocked) to be proved wrong.

  6. SPQR says:

    The incompetence is breathtaking.

  7. Ian Argent says:

    Brilliant. So brilliant they were blinded.

  8. Old NFO says:

    Heh, just got an email from a friend in Reno about this. He’s laughing his ass off!

  9. Shawn says:

    Too early to celebrate. What is basically being said here is that the state cannot dictate “how federal resources are applied”. But you know who can? The federal government itself. I give it three week until the FBI goes along with question 1 after obama personally tells (threatens) the FBI to do it. In fact I give it five days.

    And if I’m wrong, good. Either Bloomberg will have to sink another 20 or maybe even 30-50 million into it to try again, give up on it entirely in that state and move to others or hopefully give up totally on this. But I don’t see scenario 3 happening at all, especially if (when) the FBI does a 180 on this, since obama still has about 3 weeks to go.

  10. Blake Sobiloff says:

    As a Reno resident and someone who helped the NVFAC fight Question 1, I’m over the moon with joy at this turn of events. By Nevada constitutional law, no ballot measure may be modified by the legislature for three years after it has been passed by the public, so Bloomberg is effectively blocked from implementing his background checks for the next three years.

    However, they’re already floating the idea of a “high capacity” magazine ban, so it looks like that’ll be our next fight in NV.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      By Nevada constitutional law, no ballot measure may be modified by the legislature for three years after it has been passed by the public, so Bloomberg is effectively blocked from implementing his background checks for the next three years.

      WOW! That makes the incompetence not only more staggering, but more hilarious!

  11. Brad says:

    This Nevada fubar reminds of the time back in the early 1990’s when Commiefornia expanded the waiting periods and background checks from handguns to all long-guns. The new law was so badly written that it left a loophole for C&R handguns. So for about a year or two you could legally buy all sorts of C&R handguns without any state paperwork or waiting period!

    The “shoulder thing which goes up” strikes again.

  12. Maine Constitutional Carry says:

    Bloomberg miscalculated on this.

    My understanding is that he **could** have specified that the state of Nevada perform the checks (as they do for all other retail sales) — but that would have required him to include a “fiscal note” in the referendum to inform voters of the cost to the state budget.

    Bloomberg did not want to do that because he would have lost votes on the referendum.

    Instead, he specified that the FBI must do the checks and he was counting on Hillary Clinton winning the White House and telling the FBI to conduct the checks.

    Unfortunately for him – Hillary lost – and Trump will be more than happy to back the FBI decision to not do the checks.

  13. pappadave says:

    Love it! Bloomberg and Co. are morons.


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