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Nevada Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond After Dean Heller Indicates He Opposes Closing the Background Check Loophole

LAS VEGAS – The Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to Senator Dean Heller’s comments to the Reno Gazette-Journal indicating that he opposes closing the federal background check loophole.

“[When] asked about universal background checks on gun purchases — a proposal that would close the oft-derided ‘gun show loophole’ in the federal background check system — Heller said he supported the existing federal vetting method, one he described as ‘about as universal as it gets,’” the Gazette-Journal said.

In fact, federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on most gun sales, but a loophole exists that allows unlicensed sales, including sales online and at gun shows, to take place without background checks. An estimated 22 percent of gun transfers take place without a background check – that means that millions of guns are exchanged each year without a check, and this loophole is exploited by those with felony convictions, domestic abusers, the seriously mentally ill, and other people with dangerous histories every day.

Americans overwhelmingly support background checks. A 2018 Quinnipiac University poll shows that 97% of Americans support criminal background checks for all gun sales.

In November 2016, Nevada voters passed a background check law through a ballot initiative. The law has not yet been enforced, but a pending lawsuit is seeking its implementation.

STATEMENT FROM ELIZABETH BECKER, VOLUNTEER WITH THE NEVADA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“It’s disappointing to hear that Senator Heller doesn’t seem to share the common sense of most Nevadans and most Americans, who know that there should be background checks on all gun sales. We have to do more to prevent gun violence, and closing the background check loophole is a critical step that will keep guns away from people with dangerous histories and is the cornerstone of any comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy.”