News

The Latin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to endorse Question 1

8 Jul 2016 | The Latin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to endorse Question 1

 

Logo

July 8, 2016

To: Nevadans for Background Checks, Question 1

Fr: The Latin Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

The Latin Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to its mission of promoting the success of Hispanic owned businesses in Nevada and maintains that safe communities are critical to achieving that goal. Gun violence is increasingly a problem right here in Nevada and in particular, Clark County where violent crimes committed with guns are significantly on the rise. Gun violence no longer is confined to the streets, we have seen it infiltrate our schools, our houses of worship, our tourism attractions and our small businesses and the costs are too hard to ignore. Innocent people are killed, families are left to grieve and our communities feel less safe.

No one law will prevent every crime or stop every tragedy, but there are common-sense approaches we can take to make it harder for felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to buy guns. Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, is a measure on the November ballot that would require criminal background checks on all gun sales. Currently, under Nevada law only licensed gun dealers are required to conduct criminal background checks. Passing Question 1 would close the loophole and require checks on all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense. It is a sensible proposal that respects the rights of law-abiding gun owners while making it harder for criminals and felons to buy guns.

Criminal background checks are the only systematic way to keep guns out of the hands of felons and others prohibited by law from having them. Passing Question 1 will make a difference:

  • In the 18 states with similar laws, rates of police officers killed with guns, women murdered with guns by their intimate partners and gun suicides are cut nearly in half. Gun trafficking also was significantly reduced in those states.
  • In a three-year period in Nevada, 5,379 gun sales were blocked by background checks at licensed gun dealers. Of those blocked sales, 63 percent were felons and fugitives trying to buy guns. Closing the loophole will block more sales to prohibited purchasers.
  • Felons and other dangerous people are buying guns online in Nevada. A recent study found that 1 in every 11 people shopping online for a gun in Nevada is legally prohibited from having one. At that rate, an estimated 3,100 guns would wind up in the wrong hands every year in private sales without a criminal background check.
  • Question 1 puts private sellers on a level playing field with licensed gun dealers, who already are required to conduct criminal background checks. It only makes sense that all gun sellers should conduct criminal background checks to be sure a person trying to buy a gun is allowed under the law to have it.
  • Firearm injuries have cost the state of Nevada nearly $246 million in hospital costs in the past decade and an estimated $40 million in 2014 alone. More than half of these costs are charged to taxpayers by way of public insurers or a charity.

Based on the clear cut argument that passing Question 1 will help reduce gun violence and save lives in Nevada, The Latin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to endorse Question 1, The Background Check Initiative. We encourage all of the members of The Latin Chamber of Commerce to vote yes on Question 1 and hope the community will join us in supporting this important ballot question.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT
Jennifer Crowe, [email protected], (775) 813-2281

 

LATIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ENDORSES QUESTION 1
Nevada’s Latino business owners and community leaders join campaign to close loophole and require background checks on gun sales

Las Vegas, NV: The Latin Chamber of Commerce, the primary advocate for the Latino business, cultural and educational communities of Nevada, today will announce the organization’s endorsement of Question 1, The Background Check Initiative. The Latin Chamber of Commerce Board Chairwoman Maggie Arias-Petrel and President and CEO Peter Guzman made the announcement at a press conference today, July 8th, at the Latin Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Las Vegas.

“Our fundamental mission at The Latin Chamber of Commerce is to promote Hispanic owned businesses and to do that we need to have safe communities. The increasing gun violence in Las Vegas is a concern to our members who are worried about the impacts it will have on our local economy and their individual business,” Guzman said.

It is well-documented that violent crime, particularly crime involving guns, is up in Clark County. As of June 26, Las Vegas Metro Police Department reported 84 murders so far in 2016, a 50 percent increase from the same time the previous year.

“As a business owner, I know that the keys to a thriving community are safe schools and a health care system that isn’t overburdened, but we see every day how senseless gun violence is putting our children at risk and taxing our hospitals, nurses and doctors. Passing Question 1 will make it harder for dangerous people to get guns, which will improve quality of life and opportunities both for our businesses and our families,” Arias-Petrel said.

The Latin Chamber of Commerce represents thousands of businesses and individual members in Nevada. The organization serves as an advocate for Hispanics and small businesses, as well as a resource about local and state market trends supporting Nevada’s growing Latino demographic. According to the most recent census data, Hispanics represent 27 percent of Nevada’s population and in Clark County Hispanics are closer to one-third of the population.

The Latin Chamber of Commerce joins a growing list of organizations supporting Question 1. Question 1 has earned the endorsement of: Nevada State Education Association, Nevada PTA, Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, Service Employees International Union, Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, and Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police. The Question 1 Advisory Board includes more than 50 of Nevada’s law enforcement, faith, business and community leaders from across the political spectrum and from all corners of the state.

“Our campaign is thrilled to have The Latin Chamber of Commerce and the individuals and businesses it represents behind Question 1. Hispanic business owners are a dynamic influence in our state and to add their voices to the effort to pass Question 1 is vital for us to win in November,” said Advisory Board co-chair Jan Jones.

Nevada voters can make the Silver 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. 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 private sales 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.

According to one study, nearly one in 11 people shopping online for a gun in Nevada is prohibited from possessing firearms, including convicted felons and fugitives. That means as many as 3,100 guns are sold in private sales each year to people prohibited by law from owning them. In the 18 states that have closed the loophole and require background checks on all handgun sales, police officers killed with guns, gun suicides, and the incidence of women murdered by domestic partners with guns, were cut nearly in half compared to states that have not closed the loophole.

The Latin Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic group of business and community leaders focused on promoting Hispanic commerce, community and culture in Las Vegas and is the primary advocate for the Hispanic business, cultural and education communities in Nevada for more than 42 years.

Nevadans for Background Checks is a 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.

###