23 May 2016 |
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2016
Jennifer Crowe, [email protected], (775) 813-2281
*** Representatives from the Nevada State Education Association,
Nevada Parent Teacher Association, law enforcement supporters of Question 1 and
a survivor of the Sparks Middle School shooting are available for interviews ***
NEVADA EDUCATORS, PARENTS ENDORSE QUESTION 1
Nevada State Education Association and Nevada Parent Teacher Association
join survivor of the 2013 Sparks Middle School shooting in
supporting common-sense ballot measure
Las Vegas, NV: The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) and Nevada Parent Teacher Association (PTA) today announced that both organizations endorse Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, a measure on the November ballot that will close a loophole in the law and require criminal background checks on all gun sales in Nevada.
Schools have increasingly been impacted by gun violence and educators are on the front lines in keeping kids safe. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, there has been a growing demand by parents and educators in Nevada for policies and initiatives that will reduce violence at schools and in surrounding communities. That’s why both NSEA and Nevada PTA along with individual educators including those personally impacted by gun violence are supporting Question 1.
“All of Nevada’s students deserve safe schools, and as educators we are committed to doing all we can to help ensure the safety of our students and the people who work in schools. Unfortunately, educators are acutely aware of how gun violence can shatter the feeling of security necessary for student success; gun violence resulting in the deaths of educators and students have occurred across our state. Nevadans must act now to support a sensible law that will help prevent gun violence by closing the loophole allowing dangerous people to purchase guns without a background check,” said Ruben Murillo, Jr., President of the Nevada State Education Association, representing more than 24,000 Nevada educators.
“Nevada PTA, and its 18,000 members throughout the state, have a history of advocating for the safety of children. Nevada PTA and National PTA advocate for restricting access to guns from persons who may endanger public safety as a common-sense measure that will help make our schools and our communities safer,” said Nevada PTA President Dave Flatt.
Nevada has not been immune to the gun violence that schools across the country have faced in recent years. Teacher Ben Tucker was among those at Sparks Middle School on that tragic day in October 2013 when a student opened fire on the playground and killed math teacher Mike Landsberry and injured two students.
“Moments like that make you stop and think about the kind of person you want to be,” Tucker said. “I don’t want to dwell on the events of that day but I do want to do what I can moving forward to keep a tragedy like that from happening again.”
Currently in Nevada, only licensed gun dealers are required to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales. There is a loophole in the law that allows for felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to buy guns online and at gun shows, no background check required. Question 1 will close that loophole by requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense.
The NSEA and Nevada PTA join a growing list of statewide organizations and community leaders endorsing Question 1 including the Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police, Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and the more than 50 law enforcement, veteran, faith, business and civic leaders from all corners of Nevada who serve on the Question 1 Advisory Board, which is co-chaired by Elaine Wynn and Jan Jones Blackhurst.
“It’s an unfortunate truth that our schools are on the front lines when it comes to keeping our kids safe from gun violence,” said campaign co-chair Elaine Wynn. “Earning the endorsement of both educators and parents in Nevada sends a clear signal that passing Question 1 is the right thing to do. Supporters of Question 1 know that closing the loophole that criminals and other dangerous people are exploiting to buy guns will save lives.
Nevada voters can make our state the 19th in the nation to close the loophole criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people are exploiting to purchase guns online and at gun shows, no background check required. Nearly one in 11 people shopping online for a gun in Nevada is prohibited from possessing firearms, including convicted felons and fugitives. In the 18 states with similar laws, gun trafficking, gun suicides and the incidence of women killed by domestic partners with guns were cut nearly in half compared to states that have not closed the loophole.
Nevadans for Background Checks is a bipartisan statewide coalition of law enforcement, domestic violence advocacy, faith, business and community leaders who are working to pass Question 1, The Background Check Initiative. The ballot measure is a common-sense proposal that will close loopholes in Nevada law by requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense. The proposed law would put private sellers on a level playing field with licensed gun dealers, who already are required to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales.