Last updated: 7/31/18.
Laxalt worked with the NRA to try to defeat the 2016 background check expansion measure.
Laxalt campaigned for the NRA’s $6.6 million initiative to defeat the measure, known as Question 1. Laxalt’s 2014 campaign manager and current campaign consultant, Robert Uithoven, led the NRA’s political action committee that ran the campaign against Question 1. Laxalt said the measure wasn’t really “about background checks” and was solely about gun control.
Laxalt spoke at the NRA’s 2017 convention, was set to speak at the 2018 event until his photo was mysteriously scrubbed from the site, and ultimately decided to skip the convention to hide his true affinity for the gun lobby from Nevadans.
Laxalt praised Trump and the NRA at their 2017 convention: “I commend the NRA for understanding the slippery slope. They understand that you have to fight for every single inch.”
Laxalt refused to work to enforce a voter-approved ballot measure to expand background checks.
A New York Times editorial slammed Laxalt’s “specious” reasoning for refusing to carry out the will of the voters:
“This rationale for thwarting the will of Nevada voters comes from a man who not only campaigned against the proposal but later praised the N.R.A. at the organization’s annual convention in April for fighting sensible gun-safety laws.”
Laxalt’s refusal to work to enforce the ballot measure, known as Question 1, caused the Giffords Center to lower Nevada’s gun violence prevention score from a C- to a D.
When asked in February what he would do to put Question 1 into place, Laxalt said “I wouldn’t change anything as governor.” He also didn’t respond to a question on if he’d sign a background check mandate passed by the legislature.
For Laxalt, it’s never the right time to talk about gun violence.
Two days after the Las Vegas Strip shooting: “So I don’t think talking about gun issues right now is the right time.”
Four and a half months after the Las Vegas shooting: “You know, I think it’s important to slow down on this October 1.”
One week after the Parkland shooting: “But it’s very raw right now, there’s no question, and we gotta give it some time to be able to have a very calm and deliberative conversation about this.”
Reno Gazette-Journal, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 / Courtesy Jeff Hickman
Laxalt punted to the federal government on banning bump stocks, which the Las Vegas shooter used to massacre 58 people.
Nine days after the Las Vegas shooting, Reno’s KRNV asked Laxalt if he’d support legislation to regulate bump stocks. Laxalt said that would “need to be looked at by Congress.”
In February, the Las Vegas Review-Journal asked Laxalt if he’d sign a bill banning bump stocks as governor. Laxalt dodged by saying “that’s a federal step,” but the reporter pressed on the state’s ability to take action on its own, to which Laxalt dodged again by saying he’d “like to wait to see what the federal government’s going to do with this thing.” Laxalt ducked again when asked by the Reno Gazette-Journal in April if he’d support Nevada municipalities passing their own bump stock bans.
Laxalt held a summit on school safety and didn’t invite any students.
Laxalt’s summit was held at the same time as thousands of Nevada students participated in National Walkout Day, but he showed no interest in hearing students’ perspectives. When asked if he’d be speaking to students, Laxalt simply said, “We’re going to have a broad group that is invited to the summit, but it is law enforcement-related, so we have to have state employees so that we can make sure the protocols and law enforcement tactics are actually safe and secure.”
Laxalt flip-flopped on gun violence protections after the NRA gave him wiggle room.
Laxalt appeared to have changed his tune on a gun violence prevention law that would keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Laxalt recommended the Nevada Legislature consider enacting such a law, but the legislature actually did take it up in 2017 — and Laxalt panned the proposal at the NRA’s annual conference.
#AskLaxalt why he won’t take a stand against gun violence.
The Las Vegas Sun excoriated Laxalt in a scathing March editorial, calling him a “wind-up toy for the NRA.”