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For years, Nevada has led the nation in the number of women killed by men with handguns. It’s still a widespread issue in Nevada, but the Violence Police Center reports the state’s homicide numbers declining slightly, ranking Nevada 16th in the nation.
Gun control advocates say Nevada’s gun laws are outdated, and there is a need for tighter controls when it comes to protecting women from domestic violence statewide.
“It’s a complicated issue, said Lindsey Zwicker, a staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco. “There is no singular solution to domestic violence, but what we do know … that when domestic abusers have guns they are five time more likely to kill their victims.”
Michael Giles, an attorney with Las Vegas-based Creed & Giles, said he’s concerned about preventing domestic violence misdemeanor perpetrators from losing their gun rights without due process.
Nevada is part of a new campaign by gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety to strengthen gun laws in connection with domestic violence cases. Everytown aired ads this week in Nevada before traveling Washington, D.C. to lobbying Congress about a new Senate proposal.
The delegation of domestic violence victims and their advocates support a bill introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to bar convicted stalkers and abusive dating partners from legally buying and possessing guns.
Currently, only abusive spouses are barred from gun ownership. Klobuchar’s measure is the Protecting Domestic and Stalking Victims Act.
Lindsey Zwicker, attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Michael Giles, attorney with Creed & Giles