Nevada had the third highest murder rate of any state in the country last year, according to the FBI’s annual report on crime data, released last week. It was the fourth time in five years that the Silver State was among the 10 states with the highest murder rates.
The clear majority of Nevada’s reported murders last year — 74 percent — were committed with guns, the FBI data show.
With November’s election now just weeks away, these disturbing statistics about the scope of Nevada gun violence underscore the stakes of a governor’s race in which the leading candidates have vastly different views on gun violence prevention.
Steve Sisolak, a gun sense champion endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, has spoken out repeatedly about gun violence prevention and has made gun safety part of his campaign platform. He also spearheaded an effort that raised more than $11 million to support victims and survivors of the Route 91 mass shooting last year.
By contrast, Sisolak’s opponent Adam Laxalt has fought tooth and nail against efforts to pass and enforce gun safety legislation in Nevada. As Nevadans considered the 2016 ballot initiative to close the state’s background check loophole, Laxalt starred in an NRA television spot urging voters to oppose the measure. Voters passed the Question 1 background check initiative, but Laxalt has argued he can not enforce it and highlighted his opposition to the measure as a featured speaker at the 2017 NRA Convention. Supporters of the ballot initiative filed a lawsuit last year seeking implementation of the background check law, and Laxalt’s office has fought this effort in court.
For more information on gun issues in this year’s Nevada election, please don’t hesitate to reach out.