SEN. DEBBIE SMITH: Legislature Must Protect Women from Gun-Related Domestic Violence, Murders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 29, 2015

SEN. DEBBIE SMITH: LEGISLATURE MUST PROTECT WOMEN FROM GUN-RELATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, MURDERS

CARSON CITY - Today, Sen. Debbie Smith (D-Sparks) announced that she will introduce legislation this session to help prevent gun-related intimate partner violence. Recent studies have found that women in Nevada are murdered with guns at a significantly higher rate than the national average.

The legislation would prohibit persons convicted of domestic violence and stalking crimes or subject to an extended protection order for domestic violence from possessing a firearm. Persons prohibited from owning or possessing guns would be required to turn them over to law enforcement or a licensed gun dealer. Under the proposed legislation, failure to comply would constitute a category B felony. 

“The sad fact is that we have not done nearly enough to protect Nevada women from intimate partner violence,” Sen. Smith said. “By toughening penalties and taking guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, we can protect women, particularly those who have faced abuse. I hope my colleagues will join me in acting to prevent more tragic deaths.”

A recent report by the Center for American Progress found that women in Nevada are murdered with guns at a significantly higher rate than the nation as a whole. Specifically, the report found:

  • While Nevada law does bar convicted felons from possessing firearms, the law is relatively weak and does not prevent domestic abusers from possessing a gun.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, Nevada ranked 8th amongst the states for highest rates of murders of women committed with a firearm. The rate of gun murders of Nevada women is nearly 40% higher than the national average.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, 40% of murders of women in Nevada were committed by an intimate partner, which is higher than the national average.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, 185 Nevada women were killed by an intimate partner. 50% of intimate-partner-related murders of women in Nevada were committed with a gun.

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Here are a few ways you can help make a difference.