The Latest: Senate committee passes background check bill

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) The Latest on a Nevada Legislature committee meeting on a gun sales background check bill (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

A Nevada Senate committee has passed a bill that would require background checks on gun sales and private transfers.

The legislation Tuesday afternoon passed out of the Senate committee along party lines. Lawmakers from both the Assembly and the Senate spent a large portion of the day listening to public comment on the bill during a joint meeting.

The legislation Tuesday afternoon was only voted on my members of the Senate committee and not members of the Assembly.

Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson says it is likely the bill will be voted on tomorrow.

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2:35 p.m.

Opponents to a gun sales background check bill say the proposed legislation is too broad and would make criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

Streams of people opposing the bill spoke in front of lawmakers of both the Senate and the Assembly on Tuesday. Opponents to the measure raised a myriad of criticisms. Some said it would infringe on Second Amendment rights and would not help curb gun violence.

Other opponents say the measure did nothing to address mental health and criminals would find their way to a firearm anyways.

The measure allows a licensed dealer to charge a "reasonable fee" for a background check and overseeing the firearm transfer, a portion that drew criticism from opponents who argued it would hinder some gun ownership.

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11:10 a.m.

Survivors of a 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in are speaking in support of a Nevada bill expanding gun background checks to private gun sales and transfers.

The attack on the Las Vegas Strip killed 58 people and left hundreds injured, becoming the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

While gun reform advocates acknowledge the background check bill would not have stopped the Las Vegas Strip shooter Stephen Paddock from obtaining his guns, they say the measure is an important step to prevent gun violence.

Democratic Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, who survived the 2017 mass shooting, recalled the gunfire and testified in support of the bill.

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10:10 a.m.

Leading Democrats say a bill expanding gun background checks would uphold Second Amendment rights while increasing public safety.

Nevada's Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, told lawmakers the bill is a priority to him and looks forward to signing it into law if it's brought to his desk. He says gun violence is not an easy issue to solve, but most state residents support gun background checks.

State Attorney General Aaron Ford also spoke in support of the legislation. He says requiring background checks on private gun sales are particularly important due to the online gun market.

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9 a.m.

Nevada's Senate Majority Leader is urging state lawmakers to approve a measure that would require gun background checks on private gun sales and transfers.

Sen. Kelvin Atkinson made the comments during a joint meeting of lawmakers from the Assembly and Senate on Tuesday. He recalled for lawmakers past efforts to implement background checks in the state, mentioning a 2016 gun background check initiative approved by voters. The measure has gone unenforced.

He says law-abiding citizens with no mental illness or felony convictions will still be able to sell or transfer their firearms under the bill.

The committee meeting room was packed with those in support and opposition of the bill.

One Republican lawmaker raised concerns about the legislation and said some definitions are not specific enough.

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7:20 a.m.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to testify to state lawmakers on legislation expanding background checks on gun sales and private transfers.

Sisolak spokeswoman Helen Kalla says the governor will speak Tuesday to lawmakers from the Assembly and Senate. Sisolak is a Democrat and has said tougher gun laws are among his top priorities.

The bill introduced Monday aims to change state law so people can't purchase guns and avoid background checks by going through unlicensed gun sellers.

Everytown for Gun Safety reports 20 states and Washington, D.C., require criminal background checks on sales by unlicensed gun sellers. Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson says a vote on a gun background check bill would be among the first taken this year.

Republican lawmakers have accused Democrats of hurrying the legislation.

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