Although Gov. Brian Sandoval has made it clear that he plans to veto a piece of legislation that would require universal background checks, Nevada gun owners have flooded his office with calls in which they are telling the governor to kill the bill, proving that they are not going to count their chickens before they hatch.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that on Wednesday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., the governor’s office received 2,200 calls about Senate Bill 221, the expanded background check bill. Of those 2,200 call, roughly four out of five were in opposition to SB 221.
That volume of calls was so much that folks who work at the governor’s office had to set up an automated phone system to allow callers to “vote” on SB 221: pressing “one” to support the bill or “two” to oppose it. Though, it’s not really a vote, it’s more of an unscientific poll because anyone from anywhere can call the number and “vote” as many times as he/she would like (the number is 775-684-5670, if you want to call at participate in the ad-hoc “vote”).
Nevertheless, this enormous outreach from gun rights advocates also prompted Mary-Sarah Kinner, the governor’s press secretary, to iterate what Sandoval’s camp has maintained all along, “He is going to veto the bill.”
Like other expanded background check bills, SB 221 would essentially criminalize the private transfer of firearms between law-abiding citizens. To put it another way, all gun purchases would be subject to an FFL-facilitated criminal background check, including those transactions made via the Internet or at gun shows.
Additionally, even those transfers between concealed carry permit holders would be subject to background checks. Of course, background checks cost money, FFLs aren’t going to do them for free, and gun owners would be on the hook, paying as much as $30 per background check.
Furthermore, were the bill to become law, those who fail to follow it precisely would be subject to penalties that result in temporary, and even permanent, loss of their Second Amendment rights, at least according to the NRA-ILA’s interpretation of the law.
SB 221 was heavily backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which hired lobbyists to pressure legislators into supporting the bill. Now it appears Bloomberg is putting the heat on Sandoval to sign the bill into law.
“Our bipartisan coalition – led by our Nevada mayors – urges Governor Sandoval to join the overwhelmingly majority of his constituents in supporting this commonsense measure,” said Bloomberg in a recent statement. “Signing this bill into law will help keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.”
So, bottom line, there’s a lot at stake, hence all the phone calls.
As for the timeline for when the veto will take place, at this point it’s unclear. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk, but it’s estimated time of arrival is not yet certain. Though, given that a governor has 10 days to sign or veto a bill after the conclusion of a legislation session, which was Monday, it’s fair to assume that it will occur in the near future.
As noted in a previous Guns.com article, if the Gov. Sandoval vetoes the bill the legislature would not be able to vote again on the measure until 2015 because it only meets every other year.