Nevada sheriffs in at least six counties—Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Lyon, Nye and Pershing—have said they will not enforce a law providing for gun background checks on gun purchases when it takes effect in January.

These sheriffs represent the following numbers of people, and the following percentages of the state population:

Douglas 49,070/ 1.6 percent

Elko 54,326/ 1.7 percent

Eureka 1,951/ 0.06 percent

Lyon 55,551/ 1.8 percent

Nye 47,856/ 1.5 percent

Pershing 6,858/ 0.22 percent

This is the number of Nevadans who voted for background checks and the percentage they made up of those voting on that ballot measure: 558,631/50.45 percent.

Some of the sheriffs say their counties did not vote for the measure, so they should not have to enforce the new state law within their jurisdictions. Some of them also say that, although they are executive branch officials and therefore charged with enforcing the laws, they can decide for themselves whether laws are constitutional.