CARSON CITY, NEV. (KRNV & MyNews4.com)-- After two hours of discussion, Senate Bill 221 passes the Senate 11 to 10. The vote came down party lines.
Senate Bill 221 would require background checks on almost every private gun sale. The bill would also require psychiatrists to report if a mentally ill person made a specific threat. Lawmakers who spoke for and against on Wednesday didn't show any opposition to the mental health part of the bill.
Lawmakers spent Wednesday afternoon going back and forth on the issue. Some supporters shared personal accounts of losing loved ones due to gun violence. Opponents not ignoring those stories, but saying the bill had several loopholes and ultimately wouldn't stop criminals from accessing firearms.
"I've never really said this to anyone here, I'm a Democrat and I'm a gun owner," said Kihuen who is in support of Senate Bill 221.
The bill's primary sponsor, Sen. Justin Jones, was pleased the bill passed.
"This is about standing with the victims, standing with law enforcement, standing with the 86 percent of Nevadans who support background checks, and I'm glad they stand with me today," says Sen. Jones.
Senator Jones told lawmakers Wednesday that more than two million people have been denied the purchase of a gun after a background check.
Opponents argue the bill wouldn't stop criminals, but make it harder for responsible, law-abiding gun owners.
"Private party background checks that have been done in other states have not led to any safety issues, it has created situations where lawful gun owners now have new hoops they have to jump through," says Sen. James Settelmeyer.
Sen. Settelmeyer spoke out against the bill today ending his remarks with "my father died at the hand of a gun, and I don't blame the gun."
If the bill is signed into law, those who hand over weapons improperly would lose gun rights for two years, and in some cases face prison time.
There were several supporters of the bill today who don't live in Nevada, but have been victims of gun violence. Colonel Bill Badger is one of those people. Col. Badger was with Gabby Giffords in Tucson, AZ, when Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire. Col. Badger says he rushed Loughner after getting shot in the head.
"We agreed that we were going to try and do something to prevent these types of tragedies from happening again," said Col. Badger.
The bill now heads to the Assembly for a vote.