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COALITION OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS, SEIU ENDORSE QUESTION 1 TO MAKE NEVADA SAFER

17 Oct 2016 | COALITION OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS, SEIU ENDORSE QUESTION 1 TO MAKE NEVADA SAFER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2016

 

COALITION OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS, SEIU ENDORSE QUESTION 1 TO MAKE NEVADA SAFER
Nevada State Medical Association among health care groups and professionals supporting Question 1 to help reduce gun violence and save lives

Las Vegas, NV: Today the Question 1 campaign announced the endorsement of a coalition of health care groups in Nevada, with the Nevada State Medical Association, Nevada Public Health Association, Crisis Call Center and Nevada Psychiatric Association all announcing their support for the campaign to require background checks on all gun sales. Additionally, the Service Employees International Union, which represents hundreds of nurses across Nevada, endorsed the ballot initiative. These groups join the individual health care professionals who previously signed on to the campaign’s Health Care Coalition, showing that health care and public health professionals agree: requiring background checks on all gun sales will make our state safer, and reduce the financial burden on our health care system.

Previous research has shown that firearm injuries don’t just devastate families – they also put a major strain on the state’s pocketbook. Data from the Center for Health Information Analysis for Nevada show that firearm injuries cost Nevada hospitals nearly $250 million over the last ten years of available data, including more than $40 million in 2014 alone. More than half of these costs are borne by taxpayers, by way of public insurers and charities.

The Nevada State Medical Association (NSMA), the state’s largest physician-led advocacy group, voted to endorse Question 1 at its annual meeting in September, where members evaluate proposals related to public health and set health care policy priorities for the coming year.

“Research suggests that closing the loophole on background checks will reduce instances of gun violence,” NSMA Executive Director Catherine O’Mara said. “NSMA acknowledges that Question 1 alone may not prevent all instances of gun violence.  This common sense measure which recognizes the right to lawfully and responsibly own a gun, will improve public health by closing the background check loophole.”

Currently, Nevada law only requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales. 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 states that have passed similar laws, there are 48 percent fewer firearm suicides; 46 percent fewer women shot and killed by intimate partners; and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed with handguns.

The NSMA is joined by several other Nevada health care groups in supporting Question 1.

“Question 1 is a common sense public health and public safety ballot measure, supported by the Nevada Public Health Association, and we urge all Nevadans to join us in making our communities more healthy and safe by voting yes on Question 1,” said John Packham, chair of the Nevada Public Health Association’s Advocacy and Policy Committee.

“The number one goal of the Crisis Call Center is to save the lives of those who contact us,” said Crisis Call Center Executive Director Rachelle Pallissier. “We are very interested in supporting evidence-based violence prevention measures, including programs and policies to prevent firearm injuries and violence, as well as support for evidence-based suicide prevention.”

“We believe it is essential to the health and well-being of our society and our patients to support efforts to decrease the opportunity for individuals who are at risk of perpetrating violence with firearms to easily obtain guns by avoiding criminal background checks,” said Lesley Dickson, Executive Director and State Legislative Representative of the Nevada Psychiatric Association. “Individuals with a history of domestic violence, felonies and civil commitment for a serious mental illness will be identified before buying a gun in all locations guns are now purchased.”

These organizations join many others in supporting 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 Network Against Domestic Violence, The Council for a Better Nevada, Hispanics in Politics, Nevada State Education Association, Nevada PTA, Nevada State AFL-CIO, Culinary Workers Local #226, and many other organizations and individuals working to pass Question 1. The campaign is led by an Advisory Board of more than 50 Nevadans representing law enforcement, faith, veterans, gun owners, business and community leaders from across the state and political spectrum.

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.

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npha-logo

Nevada Public Health Association
The Voice of Public Health in Nevada

April 19, 2016
Nevadans for Background Checks
RE: Nevada Public Health Association support for Ballot Question 1

The Nevada Public Health Association focuses on advocacy and policy goals consistent with the group’s vision of a healthy Nevada and as part of its mission to serve as the voice for public health in in the state. Among NPHA’s goals for 2016 is supporting evidence-based injury and violence prevention efforts in Nevada specifically, evidence-based violence prevention measures, including programs and policies to prevent firearm injuries and violence and support for evidence-based suicide prevention. Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, is aligned with both of these advocacy and policy goals.

Currently, Nevada law only requires licensed dealers to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales but a loophole exists in the law that allows for private sales online and at gun shows, no criminal background check required. Question 1 would close that loophole and require background checks on all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense. Question 1 levels the playing field so that all sellers, not just licensed dealers, conduct criminal background checks.

Thousands of guns in Nevada change hands every year online and at gun shows, one study estimates more than 3,000 guns are sold to felons and domestic abusers in Nevada online every year. Requiring background checks on all gun sales will save lives because background checks work. In Nevada between 2012 and 2014, background checks blocked nearly 5,400 felons, domestic abusers and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns.

Reducing gun violence by requiring criminal background checks will in turn, provide some relief to our overburdened health care system as there are significant costs to public health systems and providers related to gun violence. 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, the most recent year data is available. More than half of these costs are charged to taxpayers by way of public insurers like Medicaid and Medicare or a charity. And this total doesn’t take into account related costs such as lost wager for victims, apprehending and incarcerating offenders and the impacts of crime and violence on our community quality of life.

 

Additionally, there is research to show that criminal background checks will reduce the incidence of gun suicide. In the 18 states with similar laws, gun suicides are reduced by 48 percent and 46 percent fewer women are murdered by their intimate partners with guns, compared with states that haven’t closed the loophole.

In conclusion, Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, is a common sense public health and public safety ballot measure, supported by the Nevada Public Health Association. And we urge all Nevadans to join us in making our communities more healthy and safe by voting yes on Question 1.

Sincerely,

John Packham, PhD
Chair, NPHA Advocacy and Policy Committee
Nevada Public Health Association
[email protected]
www.nphaonline.org

npa-logo

September 11, 2016

To: Nevadans for Background Checks
RE: Nevada Psychiatric Association support for Ballot Question 1

The Nevada Psychiatric Association has recently voted and agreed to support a yes vote on Ballot Question 1.  As the Professional Association in Nevada that both represents psychiatrists and advocates for our patients, those with mental illnesses, we are much too frequently faced with the results of gun use in our society.  We consult on survivors of suicidal attempts with guns where the survivor must now cope with severely disabling and usually disfiguring injuries plus the memories of their actions.  We hear of family violence that might have been prevented with counseling and an inability of the perpetrator to easily obtain a firearm.  We evaluate and consult with potentially suicidal victims and try to ascertain if they have a weapon available while initiating a treatment plan to decrease the likelihood of a suicidal attempt.  And, we must deal with the seriously mentally ill who very rarely perpetrate violence but much more frequently are the victims of violence.   Thus, we believe it is essential to the health and well-being of our society and our patients to support efforts to decrease the opportunity for individuals who are at risk of perpetrating violence with firearms to easily obtain guns by avoiding criminal background checks.

Currently, Nevada law only requires licensed dealers to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales but a loophole exists in the law that allows for private sales online and at gun shows, no criminal background check required.  Question 1 would close that loophole and require background checks on all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense.  Question 1 levels the playing field so that all sellers, not just licensed dealers, conduct criminal background checks.  Thus individuals with a history of domestic violence, felonies and civil commitment for a serious mental illness will be identified before buying a gun in all locations guns are now purchased.   Enforcing background checks will also slow down purchases and potentially decrease the impulsive buying of a gun that is seen in suicides and domestic homicides.

The Nevada Psychiatric Association sees Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, as a preventive measure that will benefit our society and patients.

Sincerely,

Lesley R. Dickson, MD
Executive Director and State Legislative Representative
Nevada Psychiatric Association

nsma

Nevada State Medical Association

Supports Nevada Background Checks for Gun Purchases Initiative

RENO (October 3, 2016) – The Nevada State Medical Association, the state’s largest physician-led advocacy group, voted at its annual meeting to formally support state Ballot Question 1 entitled “Nevada Background Checks for Gun Purchases Initiative.”

The Nevada State Medical Association (NSMA) held its 112th Annual Meeting and Scientific Session on September 16-18, 2016 at the M Resort in Henderson, Nevada.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring together physician leaders and delegates from around the state to evaluate proposals that affect public health in Nevada and to set healthcare-related policy priorities for the next year.

NSMA’s elected representatives voted to publicly support Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, as an important measure to improve public health in Nevada.

NSMA recognizes the right to lawful and responsible gun ownership, however, gun violence remains a threat to public health and safety.

Under current law, federally licensed dealers are required to run background checks to ensure that their buyers are not prohibited from owning guns because of a buyer’s mental illness or status as a convicted felon or domestic abuser.  Those that would seek to avoid background checks may simply purchase guns through private online sales or at gun shows.  Question 1 requires that private sellers, like their federally licenses counterparts, must also complete a background check prior to sale.

Research suggests that closing the loophole on background checks will reduce instances of gun violence.  NSMA acknowledges that Question 1 alone may not prevent all instances of gun violence.  This common sense measure which recognizes the right to lawfully and responsibility own a gun, will improve public health by closing the background check loophole.

Media Contact:

Catherine O’Mara

(775) 825-6788

[email protected]

Crisis Call Center Endorsement Letter: crisis-call-center-endorsement-letter

Nevadans for Background Checks Healthcare Coalition: nevadans-for-background-checks-healthcare-coalition