NCLR (National Council of La Raza) announced recently that its Board of Directors has unanimously voted in favor of policies aimed at reducing gun violence in the nation. The position, a first in the organization’s 48-year history, was announced at the 2016 NCLR Annual Conference during the National Affiliate Luncheon, a gathering of the nation’s Latino leaders representing NCLR’s Affiliate Network of almost 300 community-based organizations. The announcement comes after the nation has experienced a series of mass shootings and other incidents of gun violence, most recently the horrific events in Orlando, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas.
“Our announcement comes as we hold our Annual Conference in Orlando, the site of the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history, which took the lives of 49 innocent people, most of whom were Latino,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “The tragic event at Pulse nightclub changed Orlando and it has changed NCLR. By formally adopting this position, we join with the vast majority of Americans calling for an end to gun violence and we will urge policymakers to adopt common-sense measures to reduce mass shootings and gun violence, saving countless lives.”
The NCLR Board of Directors adopted a position to reduce gun violence that includes the following elements: Reasonable restrictions on the acquisition of firearms and ammunition consistent with the protection of the civil rights of all Americans, including support for universal background checks. A ban on assault weapons. Collection and analysis of data related to gun violence to understand causes and develop prevention strategies.
In addition, NCLR will continue its work to expand the availability of bilingual and culturally appropriate mental health services, including violence prevention approaches, to all who need them. “These are common-sense steps that are long overdue. And it is incumbent on NCLR to give voice to the growing concern in our community over such violence,” concluded Murguía.