How Gun Violence Affects Women in Nevada

State leaders need to take action to ensure that dangerous domestic abusers and stalkers do not have easy access to firearms, write the authors.

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idea_bulbOn March 25, 2010, Brittney Lavoll was shot in the head by her ex-boyfriend, Kevin Gipson, outside of the Las Vegas Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant where she worked. Gipson had learned where Lavoll was working by calling one of her co-workers and then hid in the bushes outside of the restaurant until Lavoll arrived.

Gipson, who had two children with Lavoll, reportedly told police that he was angry because Lavoll refused to let him see the children. According to police, Gipson—who was a convicted felon—had been violent toward Lavoll in the past and had threatened her. Because of his criminal past, Gipson was prohibited from gun ownership under both federal and Nevada state law. However, he had no problem purchasing a .25 caliber handgun from a friend for $50 in cash and $50 in marijuana. He then used the handgun to murder Lavoll. Because Nevada does not require background checks for this type of private gun sale, Gipson’s friend had no obligation to conduct a background check to ensure that Gipson was eligible to possess a firearm. Gipson admitted to the murder and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison in February 2012.

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