At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 others injured after a gunman opened fire Sunday night at a country music festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, authorities said.

What you need to know:

  • The mystery of Stephen Paddock -- gambler, real estate investor, mass killer
  • Who were the victims? A special education teacher. An off-duty police officer. 'The best dad.'
  • How a Las Vegas concert went from melody to mayhem
Gun Control

In recent months, Nevada has been ground zero in a fight over gun background checks

 (John Locher / Associated Press)
(John Locher / Associated Press)

As law enforcement continues to gather details on how Stephen Paddock obtained the rifles he used in Sunday’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, elected officials are using the incident to again call for stricter gun laws.

Nevada is no stranger to gun law reform efforts and the political battles that ensue.

Last year, voters in the state narrowly passed Question 1, an initiative that required most private buyers and sellers of guns to conduct a background check through a licensed dealer. Millions of dollars from national groups supporting and opposing the law poured into the state.

The initiative, which passed by 50.4% to 49.5%, mandated that private-party gun sales — with a few exceptions, such as transfers between family members  — be subject to a federal background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is administered by the FBI.

That’s where language in the law ran into a roadblock.

In December,  the FBI sent a letter to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, noting it would not conduct these checks. In its letter, officials from the agency said that “the recent passage of the Nevada legislation regarding background checks for private sales cannot dictate how federal resources are applied.”

The letter prompted the Department of Public Safety to seek guidance from Nevada Atty. Gen. Adam Laxalt.

Two weeks after the initial letter from the FBI, Laxalt, a Republican who opposed Question 1, released an opinion saying that “citizens may not be prosecuted for their inability to comply with the Act unless and until the FBI changes its public position and agrees to conduct the background checks consistent with the Act.”

At the time, Laxalt’s office also sent out a statement, stressing that “without this central feature [the FBI background check]”  the initiative “cannot commence.”

To date, the initiative remains in limbo and has not gone into effect.

Under state law, the language of ballot initiatives approved by the electorate cannot be changed by the Legislature for three years.

Nevada is hardly an antigunstate. It allows opencarrying of firearms and recognizes concealed weapons permits from nearly 30 other states. The state still takes pride in its hard-scrabble, anything-goes Western heritage. But it alsohasbeenshadingmoreblue inrecent years — Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump there in 2016 — and is more open to regulations that once wouldhave been seen as an anathema.

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