As Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s campaign for governor moves into the general election, it’s worth revisiting his repeated efforts to undercut common-sense gun safety laws.
As Attorney General, Laxalt urged Nevadans to keep the state’s background check loophole open. As Nevadans considered the 2016 ballot initiative to require background checks for all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense, Laxalt announced his opposition to the initiative in a statement issued by the National Rifle Association. He later starred in an NRA television spot urging voters to oppose the ballot measure.
Despite his urging, voters passed the Question 1 background check initiative, but Laxalt has yet to enforce it. After Nevadans passed the initiative at the ballot box in 2016, Laxalt argued he could not enforce it and even highlighted his opposition to the measure as a featured speaker at the 2017 NRA Convention.
Laxalt’s stance on the background check law has not gone unnoticed. “He is putting special interests and the gun lobby ahead of Nevada voters, and our public safety,” Rick McCann, executive director of the Nevada Association of Public Safety officers, wrote in the Reno Gazette Journal last year.
Laxalt has been rewarded by the NRA for his actions with $5,000 in contributions from the NRA in 2017. But, his ties to the gun lobby run deeper. His 2014 campaign manager later went on to manage the NRA’s campaign against the Question 1 ballot initiative and was listed as a paid NRA lobbyist for the 2017 legislative session in Nevada. And, Laxalt was scheduled to speak again at the 2018 NRA Convention, but his name was quietly removed from the speaker’s list after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Following the Route 91 tragedy last year, Laxalt issued a statement offering his “thoughts and prayers” to victims and survivors, but since supporters of the ballot initiative filed a lawsuit seeking implementation of the background check law, Laxalt’s office has fought this effort in court. As a reminder, attorneys general are responsible for enforcing state laws, regardless of their personal opinions.
In addition to opposing criminal background checks on all NV gun sales, Laxalt has also joined the gun lobby’s effort to undermine state gun laws — including Nevada’s — by supporting national “Concealed Carry Reciprocity.” More about this dangerous legislation is available here.
As Laxalt campaigns in the general election to be Nevada’s next governor, Silver State voters deserve to know more about his record on public safety. For more information about Laxalt’s opposition to sensible gun laws and his ties to the gun lobby, please don’t hesitate to reach out.