CARSON CITY, Nev., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gun violence survivors, law enforcement representatives, and domestic violence prevention advocates today joined Senator Justin Jones on the steps of the Capitol building in Carson City in support of S.B. 221, the Nevada Senate bill that would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the seriously mentally ill, and other dangerous people. Survivors unveiled a television ad—which features Gilles Rousseau, whose daughter, Lauren, was killed at the Newtown shooting— urging Nevada to pass S.B. 221. Watch the ad here.
S.B. 221 will close the private sale loophole, requiring all private sellers, with reasonable exceptions, to conduct background checks through licensed dealers for all sales. 97.1 percent of Nevada residents live within 10 miles of a licensed gun dealer. There are 509 licensed dealers in Nevada, four times the number of post offices in the state. This bill will therefore not burden private sellers. For more information, visit http://www.demandaction.org/dealers.
An overwhelming majority of Nevadans – 86 percent – support requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales. See the poll here.
Remarks from press conference attendees are below:
Colonel Bill Badger (ret.), shot in the head and tackled the shooter in Tucson
"I didn't think anything of it when I tackled the gunman at the massacre in Tucson, Ariz. – it just seemed like the right thing to do. Nevada's state legislators now have the chance to do the right thing, too. As a proud veteran and hunter, I know responsible gun ownership goes hand in hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people through a robust, comprehensive background check system. That's something everyone, Republicans like me and Democrats, should be able to agree on."
Gilles Rousseau, daughter Lauren was a teacher killed in Newtown, CT shooting
"I filmed an ad recently urging Nevada's state legislators to pass Senate Bill 221, because it would help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and spare so many Nevadans the pain of having a love one murdered with a gun. Nevada's elected officials owe it to their constituents to pass legislation that will expand and improve life-saving background checks."
Neil Heslin, six year-old son Jesse was killed in Newtown, CT shooting
"The senseless murder of my son opened my eyes to the plague of gun violence in our country. It shocked me to learn 33 Americans are murdered with guns every day -- more than were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December. The legislation currently being considered will save so many families in Nevada the pain of losing their loved one to a gun in the wrong hands."
Carol Gaxiola, daughter was murdered in Arizona with a gun purchased in a private sale without a background check by a convicted criminal
"My daughter was murdered by a gun sold without a background check to someone with an extensive criminal history. Nothing can ever bring her back, but Senate Bill 221 will spare countless Nevadan mothers the anguish I have suffered every day since my daughter was suddenly taken from me almost 14 years ago. This legislation is a matter of life and death, and it's vital that Carson City pass it as soon as possible."
Sue Meuschke, Executive Director of Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence
"Domestic violence is deeply intertwined with gun violence in Nevada, which ranks 6th in the nation for firearm homicides of women. It's not surprising that states with expanded background checks have lower rates of domestic violence homicide than states with weaker laws like Nevada. Passing SB 221 will help save the lives of countless women terrorized by their partners. The legislature should pass this bill and the Governor should sign it into law immediately."
Senator Justin Jones, Sponsor of S.B. 221
"As lawmakers, we are asked every day to take a stand on issues important to our community. I stand with law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and 86 percent of Nevadans in calling on my colleagues to support Senate Bill 221, which expands background checks for private gun sales."
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 950 mayors from across the country. We have more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. Learn more at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns