Nevadans for Background Checks fired off another round of ads Friday urging voters to approve Question 1 in the Nov. 8 election.
The group released two commercials featuring Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and National Rifle Association member Paul Larsen in the Las Vegas and Reno markets. Both men said closing the “background check loophole” will keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
It’s the latest round of dueling commercials between the group — bankrolled by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety — and the NRA, who began running ads criticizing Question 1 earlier this month.
“Those same dangerous criminals who get turned away at a gun store can easily buy guns at gun shows and online marketplaces from perfect strangers with no background checks, no questions asked,” Wolfson said. “No one law can prevent every crime but closing the loophole will help reduce gun violence in our state and that will save lives.”
“With our rights come responsibilities and as a gun owner and NRA member, closing the background check loophole is simple common sense,” Larsen said. “We need to level the playing field so it isn’t so easy for criminals to get guns in sales that don’t require a background check.”
Nevada’s ballot measure, Question 1, if approved, would extend federal background check requirements to include most private sales and transfers, such as those at gun shows and others arranged through websites like ArmsList. Violators would face a gross misdemeanor charge and a potential penalty of one year in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.
The NRA spots first premiered Sept. 12 and feature Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro and Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen, along with Attorney General Paul Laxalt, urging voters to “side with law enforcement” and reject the ballot measure.
In July, A KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll of 750 likely Nevada voters showed 66 percent favor Question 1 and 28 percent oppose.
That same month 16 out of 17 Nevada sheriffs came out against Question 1 because of its multiple perceived flaws — including an added burden on law enforcement and a failure to address the role mental health plays in mass shootings.
In response, Nevadans for Background Checks selected Jim Dunlap, president of the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, to star in the group’s first commercial that aired last month. In the ad, Dunlap says law enforcement knows Question 1 “can save lives.”
“Our ad campaign demonstrates the support for Question 1 among police, prosecutors and NRA members because like most Nevadans, they know that closing the loophole will improve enforcement of our existing laws prohibiting felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people from having guns,” said Joe Duffy, the group’s campaign manager, in an email Friday. “The bottom line is passing Question 1 is a common-sense measure that will help reduce gun violence and save lives.”