LAS VEGAS – Everytown for Gun Safety, the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety, gun violence survivor Richard Martinez and Nevada students and teachers came together at a press conference today to call on legislators to reject Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s extremist gun agenda and AB 148, which would let violent criminals and people with no firearms training carry hidden, loaded guns in public, including in schools, day care facilities and on college campuses.
“I know from tragic personal experience that more guns in the hands of dangerous people, like my son’s shooter, do not make college students or any of us safer,” said Richard Martinez, father of 20-year-old Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez who was killed in the tragedy near the campus of UC Santa Barbara last May. “When I heard that Nevada Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore was pushing a bill to force colleges to allow guns on campus, I knew I had to say something. Our children deserve to be able to learn and grow in a safe environment, without the threat of someone carrying a concealed loaded handgun on their campus or in their classroom – the Nevada state legislature must reject this dangerous proposal.”
“There are much better ways for lawmakers to sensibly balance the rights of responsible gun owners and the need to protect the safety of students, educators, and parents on school campuses than to enact misguided legislation like AB 148,” said Gary Peck, executive director of the Nevada State Education Association.
“As a student, I am very concerned about other students, or professors, or even visitors on campus carrying concealed, loaded guns,” said Samantha Burtch, UNLV student and gun violence prevention activist. “And I’m not alone – in survey after survey, college students, professors, administrators, and campus police overwhelmingly oppose guns on campus, not to mention that the costs associated with allowing guns on campus are staggering. The bottom line is that whether you are talking about safety or costs – Nevada cannot afford to let Michele Fiore force guns onto our college campuses.
“We send our children to school every day to learn math and science, not how to duck and cover,” said Linda Cavazos, former teacher and member of the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Nevada lawmakers must choose to stand with the mothers, fathers, teachers, and students all across Nevada who want to live, work, and raise our children without the fear of gun violence.”
In addition to the press conference held in Las Vegas today, volunteers with Nevada Moms Demand Action and Everytown, along with Nevada college students, campus police and professors registered their opposition to AB 148 at the bill’s hearing today in Carson City and via video testimony from Las Vegas. Everytown and Nevada Moms Demand Action released a new television advertisement this week calling on legislators to reject the Fiore extremist gun agenda. The ad, which can be viewed here, is airing on network and cable stations in the Las Vegas and Reno television markets.
The University of Nevada, Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College and the Associated Students of the University of Nevada have publicly opposed AB 148. As UNR President Marc Johnson told the Reno Gazette-Journal this week, “They aren’t doing this for us… They are doing it to us.”