State of Nevada Archives: on Gun Control


Dan Schwartz: Expand state background checks because people voted for it

Question 1 was a long-stalled statewide expansion of gun background checks first approved by voters in 2016.The initiative subjects most private-party gun transactions to an FBI-administered vetting process, but the FBI said it was unwilling to carry out the additional checks and suggested the state take up the task.

Attorney General Laxalt cautioned against doing so and deemed the measure unenforceable unless or until the federal agency agreed to conduct the checks. Republican primary election foe Dan Schwartz said he would enforce the initiative.

Schwartz has rarely missed a chance to characterize Laxalt's stance on background checks as an example of thwarting state voters' will. "It's not my job as governor to pick and choose what I like or what I don't like," Schwartz told the RGJ. "If the people of this state voted for Question 1, I'm in the executive branch and it's my job to enforce it. The fact that (Laxalt) doesn't like it isn't the issue. It's about the law."

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal on 2018 Nevada gubernatorial race

Steve Sisolak: Expand state background checks without involving Feds

Question 1 was a long-stalled statewide expansion of gun background checks first approved by voters in 2016.The initiative subjects most private-party gun transactions to an FBI-administered vetting process, but the FBI said it was unwilling to carry out the additional checks and suggested the state take up the task.

Attorney General Laxalt cautioned against doing so and deemed the measure unenforceable unless or until the federal agency agreed to conduct the checks.

Republican Dan Schwartz said he would enforce the initiative, as did Democrat Steve Sisolak, who responded to Laxalt's remarks with a scathing campaign statement.

"That is exactly the attitude that prevents action from being taken," Sisolak said. "Relying on Donald Trump's Washington to do anything beneficial to the people of Nevada is a fool's errand, but the larger issue is that Nevadans expect their governors to roll up their sleeves and get things done. Nevada deserves better."

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal on 2018 Nevada gubernatorial race

Steve Sisolak: Outspoken gun control advocate since Las Vegas shooting

Sisolak, a longtime Clark County commissioner, has become an outspoken advocate for additional gun control measures in the months since 58 people were killed in a mass shooting at an outdoor concert venue on the Las Vegas Strip.

He's taken softer positions on the matter in the past, as his primary election opponent has been eager to point out.

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal on 2018 Nevada gubernatorial race

John Jay Lee: A+ rating from the NRA; pro-2nd amendment values

That's why I had an A+ rating from the NRA and their endorsement in my time in the state senate. I refused to compromise my pro-life, pro-2nd amendment values, even though it meant losing my state senate seat.
Source: 2021 Nevada Governor campaign website VoteJohnLee.com May 25, 2021

Catherine Cortez Masto: Universal background check are an essential first step

We can prevent other families from losing their loved ones to senseless gun violence. We can pass common sense legislation requiring background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous individuals. Universal background checks are an essential first step toward ensuring we reduce the number of mass shootings in America, keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them, and save lives.
Source: Breitbart News on 2022 Nevada Senate race Sep 14, 2019

Susie Lee: Ban high capacity magazines, assault weapons

I don't believe having a military-style assault weapon is necessary in this country. And so I honor that we have the 2nd Amendment, that law abiding citizens own guns, but I do think that we don't need high capacity magazines or assault weapons on our streets.
Source: The Nevada Independent on 2019 NV-3 House incumbent Sep 9, 2019

Steve Sisolak: Common-sense gun laws save lives

I am working with the Legislature to implement commonsense background checks on all firearm sales in Nevada. We will outlaw bump stocks. And we will address the threat gun violence poses to victims of domestic violence in this state. Those subjected to restraining orders should not be allowed to buy a firearm. Background checks save lives.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Nevada legislature Jan 16, 2019

Adam Laxalt: Firearm restrictions not effective in reducing gun violence

Q: Support more restrictive Gun Control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic assault weapons?

Adam Laxalt (R): No. "Increasing restrictions on law-abiding citizens' access to firearms is not effective in reducing gun violence." Opposed expanded background checks, open to banning bump stocks. 100% NRA rating.

Steve Sisolak (D): Formerly opposed, now supports enforcing background checks, banning silencers, bump stocks, and assault weapons. NRA rating was 79% in 2012, now 7%.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Nevada Governor race Oct 9, 2018

Dean Heller: Opposed banning high-capacity magazines

Q: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic assault rifles?

Dean Heller (R): Historically no. Voted against banning high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks. Now would leave gun regulation to states.

Jacky Rosen (D): Yes. Ban high-capacity magazines and military-style assault rifles.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Nevada Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Jacky Rosen: Ban high-capacity magazines & military-style assault rifles

Q: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic assault rifles?

Dean Heller (R): Historically no. Voted against banning high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks. Now would leave gun regulation to states.

Jacky Rosen (D): Yes. Ban high-capacity magazines and military-style assault rifles.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Nevada Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Steve Sisolak: Ban silencers, bump stocks, and assault weapons

Q: Support more restrictive Gun Control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic assault weapons?

Adam Laxalt (R): No. "Increasing restrictions on law-abiding citizens' access to firearms is not effective in reducing gun violence." Opposed expanded background checks, open to banning bump stocks. 100% NRA rating.

Steve Sisolak (D): Formerly opposed, now supports enforcing background checks, banning silencers, bump stocks, and assault weapons. NRA rating was 79% in 2012, now 7%.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Nevada Governor race Oct 9, 2018

Jared Fisher: Second Amendment represents freedom & our American heritage

I support the Second Amendment. More importantly, I support the rights of an individual to decide whether or not he or she wants to own a gun. That is the essence of the Second Amendment and represents one of the U.S. Constitution's most important themes: Freedom. Our Founding Fathers valued the freedom to speak openly, the freedom to worship, the freedom to have a free press, the freedom to assemble and the freedom to bear arms. As governor, I will not seek to limit the rights of gun owners.

I was taught from a young age to use guns responsibly and respectfully. I was also taught that guns are a part of our American heritage. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are responsible gun owners who participate in hunting and sport shooting. And of course, many choose to own guns as a means of protection for themselves and their families.

Source: 2018 Nevada Governor campaign website FisherForNevada.com Mar 21, 2018

Steve Sisolak: I'll take on the NRA and I'll take on Donald Trump

[Steve Sisolak TV ad airing in Reno and Las Vegas]:

[Caption: Steve Sisolak, chairman, Clark County Commission]

[Steve Sisolak addressing camera]: I've taken on bullies my whole life. Never backed down. Never backed away. When you see somebody getting hurt, you have to stand up.

Donald Trump hurts Nevada families. He wants to take healthcare away from 200,000 Nevadans.

[Photo: Trump with CNN Headline: "Trump expected to end program protecting Dreamers"]: He wants to break up families by deporting the DREAMers.

[Photo: Protest march with banner, "Fight for DACA and immigrants"]: He cares more about the NRA than you.

[Photo: Mother with two children]: I'll take on the NRA; I'll take on big Pharma; and I'll take on Donald Trump.

[Photo: Steve sisolak at rally]: As Governor I'll stand up for Nevada and for Nevada families. [Caption: Steve Sisolak for governor.]

Source: OnTheIssues AdWatch on 2018 Nevada Gubernatorial race Mar 21, 2018

Adam Laxalt: Don't expand state background checks unless FBI participates

Question 1 was a long-stalled statewide expansion of gun background checks first approved by voters in 2016.The initiative subjects most private-party gun transactions to an FBI-administered vetting process, but the FBI said it was unwilling to carry out the additional checks and suggested the state take up the task.

Attorney General Laxalt cautioned against doing so and deemed the measure unenforceable unless or until the federal agency agreed to conduct the checks. Initiative proponents took the matter to court, where its remained ever since.

Fast forward to 2018, when Laxalt said he "wouldn't change anything" to put the initiative in place if elected to the state's highest office. "We're in litigation on this thing right now," Laxalt said of Question 1. "But the bottom line is (proponents) wrote a bad ballot initiative, specifically to avoid a fiscal note. They didn't tell the people what this thing would've cost if they ran it through the state. Until the FBI agrees to do that, that's it."

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal on 2018 Nevada gubernatorial race Feb 15, 2018

Danny Tarkanian: Self-defense is a constitutional right & a God-given right

Gun-grabbers whose ultimate goal is to abolish the Second Amendment routinely ignore two important realities...
  1. The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, and.
  2. When seconds count, first responders are only minutes away.
This is not a criticism of police officers. They put their lives on the line every single day to protect us. But they simply can't be everywhere all the time...unless you're a high elected official who can afford personal bodyguards. For the rest of us, when confronted by a bad guy with a gun--in church, at an event, on the street or in our own homes--first responders can get there too late. We need, deserve and have a right to an IMMEDIATE response.

Indeed, the right to defend yourself and your family isn't just your constitutional right; it's a God-given right. A right that has nothing to do with hunting or target-shooting. It's about self-defense, period.

Source: 2018 Nevada Senate campaign website DannyTarkanian.com Feb 3, 2018

Danny Tarkanian: What good is a handgun if a bad guy has an assault rifle?

Every time I hear a gun-grabber ask, "Why do you need a weapon like that?"--the simple answer is: To defend myself and my family against a bad guy who has a similar weapon. Seriously. What good is a handgun if your attacker is brandishing an assault rifle?

The simple fact is, no gun control law or background check system in the world is going to stop criminals and crazy people from getting their hands on guns if they are truly intent on doing so. That's why the Second Amendment individual right to keep and bear arms needs to be defended without compromise.

And that's why my top gun rights priority in the United States Senate will be the passage of a national concealed carry reciprocity law that will allow you to protect yourself and your loved ones while traveling from one state to another.

Source: 2018 Nevada Senate campaign website DannyTarkanian.com Feb 3, 2018

Adam Laxalt: 1996: supported gun rights; 2018: supports gun control

A 1996 VoteSmart questionnaire shows Sisolak did not support an expanded ban on assault weapons, increased state restrictions on firearm sales or the maintenance of existing state gun restrictions. He also opposed easing or repealing those restrictions, indicating only that he would support allowing law-abiding citizens to continue to carry concealed firearms.

That would seem to be odds with statements he's made on the campaign trail, including tweets that have decried bump stock-modified firearms as "killing machines" in need of an immediate ban. A spokeswoman said that Sisolak filled out the survey before many of the nation's worst mass shootings took place, including Columbine & Sandy Hook.

Sisolak in 2013 told the Las Vegas Sun that he supported an assault weapons ban. In 2016, he urged taking action beyond "thoughts and prayers" while attending a vigil for the victims of a shooting that left 49 people dead and 58 wounded at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal on 2018 Nevada governor race Jan 29, 2018

Adam Laxalt: Strong Supporter of the Second Amendment

I am a proud and firm supporter of the Second Amendment, and I take particular pride in the work my office has done, during my time as Nevada's Attorney General, to stand up for the right of citizens to bear arms. I believe, as America's founders did, that this right is essential to maintaining a free society, and I will defend it vigorously as your Governor.
Source: 2018 Nevada Gubernatorial website AdamLaxalt.com Nov 7, 2017

Dan Schwartz: Implement voter-approved expanded background checks

Schwartz is pensive, lamenting that mass killings are happening with ever greater frequency. "It seems like there's no way to prevent it, unless you somehow get guns off the street. There's just no pattern to this," he said. "you can control who buys a gun, but that doesn't seem to work." He does fault Gov. Sandoval and his opponent for the fact that Nevada has not implemented an expanded background check requirement even after voters narrowly approved the measure.
Source: Nevada Independent on 2018 Nevada Gubernatorial race Sep 6, 2017

Jacky Rosen: Supports commonsense gun safety legislation

Jacky Rosen supports commonsense gun safety legislation including universal background checks on gun sales, closing the terror loophole, and closing gaps that allow domestic abusers to purchase firearms. She'll work to keep our community safe, combat human sex trafficking, and secure our infrastructure and airports from outside threats--including cyber-attacks.
Source: 2016 Nevada House campaign website RosenForNevada.com Nov 8, 2016

Ruben Kihuen: The NRA exists only to protect the big gun companies

Every day 88 Americans are killed with guns. Yet, Congress has failed to pass any meaningful legislation to curb the epidemic of gun violence.

In the State Senate, I helped champion legislation to require universal background checks for all gun sales in Nevada and I fought against reckless Republican bills that would have allowed guns in our public schools.

The truth is the fight against gun violence prevention is dominated by the National Rifle Association. The NRA claims to stand for personal freedoms, but they really only exist to protect the bottom line of the big gun companies. We must expose the NRA for the profit-protecting, corporate machine that they are.

Source: 2016 Nevada House campaign website RubenForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Sharron Angle: Purpose of Second Amendment is protection against tyranny

[Former Congressman and radio talk-show host] Joe Walsh took to Twitter [prior to the 2016 election] to announce his post-election day plans. "On November 9th," he wrote, "if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?"

It may be tempting to write off Walsh's latest proclamation. But this sentiment--that a Donald Trump loss might justify the violent overthrow of a Hillary Clinton administration--is really just the logical endpoint of a longtime GOP talking point. The National Rifle Association has longed peddled the "insurrectionist" theory of the Second Amendment, arguing that the right to bear arms was intended to protect citizens against a tyrannical ruler.

Although this insurrectionist theory is foreign to the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment, it has gained a foothold in the Republican Party. In 2010, Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle suggested that Nevadans might use "Second Amendment remedies" to punish an overly liberal Congress.

Source: Slate.com, "Grabbing My Musket," on 2016 Nevada Senate race Oct 26, 2016

Brian Sandoval: Mental health background check erodes 2nd Amendment

Excerpts from legislation: AN ACT requiring court records concerning a person's mental health for the purchase or possession of a firearm; authorizing the inclusion, correction and removal of the information in such records in each appropriate database of the National Crime Information Center; requiring each agency of criminal justice to submit information relating to records of criminal history within 60 days after the date of the conviction; requiring a background check before transferring a firearm to another person.

Excerpts from veto message: While I support enhanced reporting requirements concerning mentally ill persons, the provisions of Senate Bill 221 pertaining to background checks for the private sale and transfer of firearms constitute an erosion of Nevadans' Second Amendment rights.

Legislative outcome: Bill passed Senate 11-10-0, May 22; passed House 23-19-0; June 3; vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval on June 13

Source: Nevada legislative voting record on SB 221 Jun 13, 2013

Ruben Kihuen: Background checks for mental health before gun purchase

Excerpts from legislation: AN ACT requiring court records concerning a person's mental health for the purchase or possession of a firearm; authorizing the inclusion, correction and removal of the information in such records in each appropriate database of the National Crime Information Center; requiring each agency of criminal justice to submit information relating to records of criminal history within 60 days after the date of the conviction; requiring a background check before transferring a firearm to another person.

Excerpts from veto message: While I support enhanced reporting requirements concerning mentally ill persons, the provisions of Senate Bill 221 pertaining to background checks for the private sale and transfer of firearms constitute an erosion of Nevadans' Second Amendment rights.

Legislative outcome: Sen. Kihuen voted YEA; Bill passed Senate 11-10-0, May 22; passed House 23-19-0; June 3; vetoed by Gov. Sandoval on June 13

Source: Nevada legislative voting record on SB 221 May 22, 2013

Joe Heck: Supports 2nd Amendment & rights of sportsmen

As a father, military officer, and first responder, Dr. Heck firmly supports our 2nd Amendment Rights and the rights of sportsmen across the state of Nevada. He respects the proud heritage of Nevada sportsmen and understands the importance of passing on our hunting and fishing traditions to future generations of Nevadans. The rights of Nevada's citizens to use public lands needs to be defended and access expanded to promote the sporting activities which are so firmly rooted in Nevada culture.
Source: 2010 House campaign website, heck4nevada.com, "Issues" Nov 2, 2010

Kenny Guinn: Allow concealed carry

Source: 1998 Nevada Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

Steve Sisolak: Supports concealed carry

Source: 1996 Nevada National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Nevada Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Gun Control.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Gun Control:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 13, 2021