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Why Nevada is Nation’s Flashpoint on Guns

Both parties have fiercely campaigned to restrict or loosen gun laws in the state

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Sunday evening’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, highlighted Nevada’s stark partisan divide that has made it a flashpoint in the nation’s debate on gun rights, NBC News reported.

Both parties have spent millions trying to tighten or loosen gun laws. The state has relatively light restrictions, with no permit requirements to buy handguns, rifles or shotguns. Nevada residents can openly carry firearms throughout the state.

"There is very little on the books," said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun safety group.

In 2013, former President Barack Obama pushed for laws expanding background checks to include private gun sales and gun shows. Fifty-four senators in Congress voted for a bipartisan bill, but it was overcome in a filibuster.

Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, was considered a key swing vote and ultimately voted "no" on the bill.

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