A ballot initiative requiring universal background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms in Nevada is being met with resistance and nit-picking by gun rights group Nevadans for State Gun Rights, according to the Elko Daily Free Press.
The initiative, to be voted on in 2016, is expected to be on the ballot after grassroots leaders submitted petitions with nearly 247,000 signatures Nov. 12.
The grassroots effort led by Nevadans for Background Checks only requires 102,000 signatures to be on the 2016 ballot. The group’s spokesman, Jack Warner, said his group is confident the measure will be certified. Nevadans for State Gun Rights say that the ballot measure should be thrown out immediately, after poring over the submitted petitions. They say they have been going through all the paperwork submitted, and the errors show the measure should be trashed entirely:
In a letter obtained Monday by The Associated Press, Nevadans for State Gun Rights tells Secretary of State Ross Miller that initiative proponents missed a deadline to deliver signatures to one clerk. The group also says some pages lack a proper signature-gatherer’s affidavit, and some signatures are dated after the affidavit was notarized.
Petitions were turned in Nov. 13 to the Storey County clerk, said Don Turner, head of the gun rights group. That means proponents not only missed the Nov. 12 deadline there, they also missed a requirement to submit documents to each of Nevada’s 17 county clerks on the same day, he said.
“Those are problems we found in just one county,” Turner said.
Turner, a former NRA board member, is also president of the Nevada Firearms Coalition (NFC) — the NRA’s officially sanctioned state association in Nevada that was formed in 2011 after the Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association folded.
It’s obvious that right-leaning gun groups don’t want gun control measures to be decided by the people, who overwhelmingly support strict background checks. In fact, 74% of Americans who live in a household with an NRA member member overwhelmingly favored the idea of making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to such checks, according to Pew Research.
For all the right-wing’s whining and bellowing about state rights, when it comes down to it, they’re not really all that receptive to the will of the people.
If they can’t trust voters to merely vote on a ballot initiative, they’ll do everything they can to keep that measure from making it onto the ballot in the first place.
Invalidating nearly 145,000 petition signatures will certainly be a feat, but nothing is impossible when the NRA and right-wing money machine is involved.
In other words, Nevadans — keep an eye on this one.