Gun control group wants Nevada voters to settle background check battle

Gun control advocates in Nevada want to put background checks on the ballot in 2016.  

On Wednesday, the group Nevadans for Background Checks is planning to deliver nearly 250,000 signatures to the Clark County Clerk in Las Vegas, well over the 101,667 needed to let voters decide in November 2016 whether to require background checks for all gun sales.

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“The Background Check Initiative will create a level playing field where all gun sellers must follow the same set of rules, closing the loophole that allows guns to be sold without a background check over the Internet and at gun shows,” the group said Tuesday.

The announcement in Nevada comes just one week after voters in Washington state passed a measure expanding background checks on gun sales, making it the seventh state, plus Washington, D.C., to require universal background checks on all gun sales, including private sales and gifts.  

The group in Nevada said felons, domestic abusers and people with severe mental illness can now buy guns in the state from unlicensed sellers with no questions asked because federal law only requires background checks for gun sales at licensed dealers.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed legislation for added checks in 2013. 

But legislation for tighter federal regulations is farther out of reach now that Republicans hold the majority in Congress. More than 90-percent of the congressional candidates the National Rifle Association supported won last week, adding to the number of gun rights advocates in both chambers.