Washington, D.C., February 15, 2019 - The Brady Campaign today applauded Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and state legislators for enacting a new law that will require a Brady Background Check for nearly all gun purchases and transfers. The governor signed the bill this afternoon, making Nevada the 21st state to close the “private sale loophole” that has long allowed felons and other dangerous people to avoid background checks.
Christiane Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign’s Northern Nevada chapter, said:
“The passage of Nevada SB 143 honors the memory of all victims of gun violence and their families and affirms our commitment to keep fighting for them no matter what. We have now made it harder for criminals and other dangerous people to purchase guns in Nevada. We thank the 2019 State Legislature for upholding the will of the people, and once again passing the bill Nevadan’s voted for in 2016. Expanding background checks for virtually every gun sale is a great victory for gun violence prevention and for all Nevadans.”
Under the federal Brady Law enacted 25 years ago this month, federally licensed firearm dealers nationwide are required to conduct instant background checks on prospective gun buyers. Prohibited purchasers like felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous individuals, however, have long been able to evade federal law by purchasing firearms from unlicensed gun sellers online, at gun shows, or through other private transfers without a background check.
Nevada’s law will make it the 21st state to go beyond federal law by requiring background checks for all gun sales, with narrow exceptions for sale or transfers between close family members or law enforcement in the scope of official duties, temporary transfers to prevent imminent death or bodily harm, as well as temporary transfers during limited hunting and sporting activities.
Expanded background checks have a demonstrated record of effectiveness. After the Sandy Hook shooting massacre, Connecticut enacted a universal background check system and the state saw a 40% reduction in gun homicides and a 15% reduction in gun suicides.
Overall, from 2009 to 2012, states that required background checks on all handgun sales or permits had 35% fewer gun deaths per capita than states that did not.
Congress is now debating whether to reform federal law to require expanded Brady background checks nationwide. The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act, for consideration by the full House. A Senate counterpart, S. 42, the Background Check Expansion Act, has also been introduced.
The Brady Law is named for Jim and Sarah Brady, the founders of the Brady Campaign. Jim Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, was shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.