October 3, 2016


Mayor and Former Metro License Investigator Says Question 1 Would Help Make Nevada Safer and Save Lives

Reno, NV: Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen today announced his endorsement of Question 1, The Background Check Initiative, to close the background check loophole and make it harder for criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to get guns.

“As a Mayor and former Metro license investigator, I’ve seen firsthand the toll that gun violence takes on many of our communities. And as a Nevadan, I know that we must do better to try to prevent this violence,” said Mayor Hafen.  “Closing the background check loophole is a straightforward, proven way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and reduce gun violence. Question 1 will make our city and our state safer and will help save lives, and that’s something we should all get behind.”

Mayor Hafen joins a growing list of groups and individuals backing The Background Check Initiative including Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, former Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (NAPSO), Las Vegas Fraternal Order of Police, Nevada Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association, The Latin 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 retired Metro Homicide Commander Ray Steiber, former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley, former Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa, Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers, NAPSO President Jim Dunlap, retired Metro Deputy Chief Al Salinas, 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 and the only systematic way 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 buyers, 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.