While Bloomberg's billions were enough to "persuade" both houses of the Nevada Legislature to pass SB 221, it wasn't enough to "convince" Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) not to veto the bill. SB 221 provided for universal background checks on all transfers in Nevada.
Bloomberg had blanketed Nevada with his lobbyists and spent a lot of money on ads pushing Sandoval to sign SB 221. However, Gov. Sandoval, who had pledged to veto the bill even before it passed, seems to have listened to callers to his office instead.
It is a significant defeat for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control advocacy group, Mayor's Against Illegal Guns, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars working to get the bill passed.The gun prohibitionists are still clinging to their mythical 86% of Nevadans in favor of the bill and are castigating the governor for ignoring their push poll.
The group bought numerous ads on social media sites, news websites and television, in addition to mailing out materials attacking select lawmakers who voted against the bill during the session. Video ads pressuring Sandoval to sign the bill surfaced immediately following the Assembly nod of approval.
But an automated system set up to field the flood of calls to the governor's office about the bill showed an overwhelming majority of calls wanted Sandoval to veto the bill. The system did not record names, so it was possible for callers to call multiple times and distort the numbers.
Repeating an oft-cited result of a poll showing 86 percent of Nevadans favor background checks for private party gun sales, critics said Sandoval has made an unpopular decision.Gov. Sandoval, in his veto message found here, said that the bill's measure on the reporting of mental health issues were very good. However, he goes on to say that that bill's background check provisions "constitute an erosion of Nevadans' Second Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and may subject otherwise law-abiding citizens to criminal prosecution." He adds that the bill would also alter the burden of proof for illegal sales of firearms under Nevada.
"Clearly Gov. Sandoval is going against the will of the people," said Brian Fadie, executive director of ProgressNow Nevada, a group that favored the bill's passage. "He is standing with extremists who are mostly filled with paranoid fears of the government taking away their guns."
I congratulate Gov. Sandoval for vetoing the bill and for recognizing the "flypaper" nature of this bill written by Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors. These transfer provisions were never meant to stop crime but are intended to create a new class of inadvertent criminals ultimately leading to the loss of their rights under the Second Amendment.