Progressives: Heck misled on background checks

The group, Progress Now Nevada, has brought the controversial issue of background checks, which some Democrats think can be a wedge in key races, into the congressional contest in District 3.

The organization recorded a town hall last month (Feb. 19) that Rep. Joe Heck gave and picked out his responses to questions (I'm not suggesting any were planted) about the issue. The video is below, but the group focused on Heck's answers on gun shows and a web portal for transactions.

Heck said, "If you buy a gun at a gun show here in Nevada, you actually have to go through a background check.”

That's only so if the seller is licensed, which Progress Now points out. And when Heck refers to a transaction being done through a web portal, the group wonders about a lack of verifiability and a lasting record.

Heck spokesman Mark Ciavola responded: "Rep. Heck's position on gun control has not changed. He supports expanded background checks for firearm sales and increased mental health services so that those who may be a danger to themselves or society cannot purchase a gun.

"At the town hall, Rep. Heck was clearly speaking about the legal avenues for purchasing a firearm. He would never condone purchasing a gun from an unlicensed seller - they shouldn't be at a gun show in the first place. His whole position on the issue is based on preventing those with a propensity to do harm form obtaining a weapon. He has broadly mentioned the web portal as a potential policy prescription so that law abiding citizens are not unduly burdened when trying to make a transfer to someone with whom they have a close, personal relationship. He has not explored details or looked into advancing this potential idea."

Ciavola also added some rote stuff about the grouo trying to prop up Erin Bilbray's campaign. True enough. The question is whether it will work, and how this issue will play