September 21, 2016

Group dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Nevadans joins campaign to make Nevada safer by closing loophole and requiring background checks on all guns sales

Las Vegas, NV:  The Council for a Better Nevada (CBN) – an organization of concerned citizens and community leaders committed to creating a better quality of life for all Nevadans – today announced its endorsement of The Background Check Initiative to make it harder for criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to get guns. CBN brings together leaders and resources from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to identify, engage and assist in creating solutions to community issues that significantly affect the lives of Nevadans.

“The Council for a Better Nevada is deeply concerned by gun violence – not just on our streets, but also in our schools, places of business, and houses of worship.” said Maureen Schafer, Executive Director of the CBN. “We all deserve to live in a place where we feel safe, and the Council for a Better Nevada believes that safe communities are prosperous communities. Closing the background check loophole is a common-sense way to promote public safety and prosperity in our communities all across our great state.”

“The financial cost of inaction is far too high. Over the past decade, firearm injuries have cost Nevada hospitals over $240 million,” said John Ritter, a member of the CBN and of Nevadans for Background Checks’ Advisory Board. “Gun violence impacts us all financially, and the increasing rate of gun violence in our communities is devastating.  Question 1 is an opportunity to pass a tested and proven public safety measure in Nevada.”

CBN joins a growing list of organizations endorsing Question 1 including the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police, Nevada Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association, The Latin Chamber of Commerce, the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce, Nevada State AFL-CIO, Culinary Workers Local #226, Service Employees International Union, Nevada State Education Association, Nevada PTA, Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence and the more than 50 Nevadans who serve on the campaign Advisory Board representing law enforcement, faith, veterans, gun owners, business and community leaders from across the state and political spectrum.

Other notable law enforcement supporters include Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, retired Retired Lieutenant Homicide at Las Vegas Metro Ray Steiber, former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley, Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers, NAPSO President Jim Dunlap, retired Metro Detective and former President of the Police Protective Association and Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs Dave Kallas, former Assistant District Attorney Teresa Lowry, former Washoe County District Attorney Cal Dunlap, and retired Henderson Police Chief Richard Perkins.

Currently, Nevada law only requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks. Question 1 would close the loophole and level the playing field, requiring checks on all gun sales with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense. In the states with similar laws there are 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed, 46 fewer women shot and killed by their partners and a 48 percent reduction in gun trafficking, compared to states that have not closed the loophole. Nevada would join 18 other states in closing the loophole.

Background checks are an effective tool to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. In Nevada between 2012 and 2014, 5,379 gun sales were blocked to prohibited purchasers because of background checks at licensed gun dealers. Of those blocked sales, 78 percent were felons, fugitives and convicted domestic abusers trying to buy guns. No one law can prevent every crime but passing Question 1 will save lives.

Nevadans for Background Checks is a statewide coalition of law enforcement, domestic violence advocacy, faith, business and community leaders who are working to pass the criminal 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 background checks on gun sales.

About the Council for a Better Nevada

The Council for a Better Nevada (CBN) is an organization of concerned citizens who seek to improve the quality of life in Nevada. Founded in 2005, CBN’s  intention is to identify and engage in community issues whose outcomes will greatly affect the lives of Nevadans. By bringing together talent, resources and leadership from private, public and non-profit sectors, CBN’s goal is to assist in developing solutions to issues which will create a sustainable, healthy and prosperous Nevada community. Reach the Council for a Better Nevada at