Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cut & Run

Yesterday, the Nevada Legislature witnessed another heart-wrenching round of testimony on SB 221, Senator Justin Jones' (D-Enterprise) background checks gun safety bill. But then, all of a sudden, Senator Michael Roberson (R-Henderson) dropped SB 520 just minutes after the SB 221 hearing concluded. He and Governor Brian Sandoval (R) were hoping to create the appearance of "doing something on gun safety" while actually killing SB 221 in a politically palatable way. Last night, Jon Ralston recapped all the action on his show.

So what happened? The Las Vegas Sun's Andrew Doughman has more 411 on what went down.

Jones introduced his bill on the fourth day of the 120-day legislative session and has been talking to the governor’s office about the bill during the past months. But talks stalled last week with the governor opposing mandatory private party background checks and Jones unwilling to strike what he called the “key” point of the bill.

Jones was displeased with Roberson for introducing the bill on the 114th day of the legislative session.

“It’s politically craven for Sen. Roberson to decide on day 114 that he suddenly cares,” Jones said.

Roberson had earlier offered an amendment to Jones’ bill that was nearly identical to SB 520. That effort failed on a party line vote.

While representatives from the governor’s office said Jones has been “extremely cooperative and forthcoming,” Sandoval was “having a lot of difficulty” with agreeing to the background check provisions of Jones’ bill, said Gerald Gardner, Sandoval’s chief of staff. [...]

“There is currently no plan to hear Roberson’s bill,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee to which the Senate referred Roberson’s bill.

And we've already been going into detail on why this is happening. Again, it comes down to petty politics. Never mind that 86% of Nevadans demand universal background checks on firearms purchases. And never mind that the current loophole infested system allows for dangerous criminals and the severely mentally ill to access firearms. Because the NRA refuses to accept any real gun safety reform, Governor Sandoval won't let it pass. Instead, he and Senator Roberson are pursuing their own sham bill.

They just don't want us to recognize their sham bill for what it truly is. Why else would the typically loquacious Senator Roberson cut and run from a KSNV/News 3 reporter?

Need I say more?

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