By Steve Neavling
A voter-approved measure in Nevada to require more gun background checks isn’t enforceable, says the FBI and Nevada’s attorney general.
Under the measure, which was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, gun transactions between private citizens must involve federal screenings through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
But according to the Washington Times, the FBI won’t conduct the checks.
In a letter to state officials, the FBI said the state is tasked with background checks and the ballot initiative’s approval “cannot dictate how federal resources are applied.”
The measure prohibits the state from conducting the background checks involving private sales.
“It is manifestly unjust to criminally penalize someone for failing to perform an act that is impossible to perform,” Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a Republican, wrote in an opinion Wednesday deeming the ballot initiative unenforceable. “Despite its intent to merely regulate the transfer or sale of firearms between private parties, because it is impossible to perform the background checks as required by the Act, the Act now unconditionally prohibits such transactions under the threat of criminal prosecution for conduct that was formerly lawful and routine.”