September 6, 2016

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

State federation of labor representing more than 200,000 workers across Nevada stands with campaign to close the background check loophole

Las Vegas, NV: The Nevada State AFL-CIO voted to endorse Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, at the organization’s annual constitutional convention in Reno. Former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley addressed the convention delegates and joined other supporters including the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (NAPSO) in working to build broad support for the ballot measure. Nevada State AFL-CIO – the state federation of labor representing more than 200,000 workers in 120 labor unions across the state, including thousands of police officers, fire fighters, construction workers and teamsters – stands with the vast majority of Nevadans who support common sense measures like criminal background checks on gun sales.

“Nevada’s hard working families deserve to have neighborhoods, schools and work places where they can feel safe but unfortunately, gun violence has become too common and the impacts are felt by our members and their families,” said Danny Thompson, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO. “No one law can prevent every crime but background checks are an effective tool to reduce gun violence and that will save lives. That’s why Nevada State AFL-CIO is proud to join the campaign to pass Question 1.”

Nevada State AFL-CIO joins Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Service Employees Union International, NAPSO, Nevada State Education Association, Nevada PTA, The Latin Chamber of Commerce and Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence. and many others in the campaign to pass Question 1.

“Senseless shootings have become far too common not just on our streets but at our malls, schools and houses of worship – places where we should feel safe,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. “For a state like ours that is so dependent on visitors, the potential of a high-profile shooting would be devastating for the thousands of workers in the hospitality industry and beyond. We encourage all of our members and their families to vote yes on Question 1 in November.”

NAPSO Executive Director Rick McCann agreed: “NAPSO has been working in support of Question 1 since we endorsed the campaign in February and we are pleased that our brothers and sisters of the Nevada State AFL-CIO have joined us to do what we can to protect law enforcement officers across our state. We can’t prevent every tragedy but in states that have closed the loophole there are 48 percent fewer police officers shot and killed. Passing Question 1 will save lives, It’s that simple.”

Law enforcement supporting Question 1 include NAPSO and Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police, which combined represent nearly 2,000 police officers, in addition to notable law enforcement leaders like Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, retired Metro Homicide Commander Ray Steiber, former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley, Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers, NAPSO President Jim Dunlap and retired Metro Detective and President of the Police Protective Association and Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs Dave Kallas.

Independent analysis of FBI and state data shows that in the states that have closed the loophole, there are 48 percent fewer police officer shot and killed, 46 percent fewer women murdered by their intimate partners with guns and a 48 percent reduction in gun trafficking. Background checks work to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. In a three-year period in Nevada, 5.379 felons, domestic abusers and other prohibited purchasers were blocked from buy guns by background checks conducted at licensed dealers.

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.