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Alarming and Dangerous: Arizona Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Respond to Legislature’s Passage of Measure Encouraging Vigilante Gun Violence, Urge Governor Hobbs to Veto 

April 1, 2024

PHOENIX — The Arizona chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statement after lawmakers in the Senate passed HB 2843. The measure encourages property owners to confront individuals traversing their land, no matter how expansive or whether it is marked as private property, and threaten or use lethal force against them.

“Advancing a bill that legalizes shooting and killing people on your property, while spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric, is a deadly and racist path for Arizona communities,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “This legislation won’t enhance border security, it will just worsen our gun violence epidemic — especially for communities of color and people migrating to our country. Governor Hobbs must veto this hateful bill, and Arizona lawmakers need to redirect their time towards legislating common-sense measures that will actually keep their constituents safe.”

“This bill is terrifying. Legislators are trying to expand our state’s shoot first law to give people free reign to shoot first and ask questions later. We know that shoot first laws disproportionately impact communities of color, especially Black and Latinx communities and there is no question that this bill is intended to target Arizona’s immigrant community, ” said Lisa Kopp, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While legislators are pushing forward their extreme agenda, we must all remember that our state is not immune to gun violence – – we should be working to prevent the next tragedy, not fueling this crisis with this dangerous  – and outright racist – bill. While lawmakers cave to the gun lobby, our communities will continue to pay the price. We urge Governor Hobbs to veto this measure as soon as it arrives on her desk.” 

“Hateful rhetoric and access to guns are a uniquely lethal combination – yet that didn’t stop extremist lawmakers from passing this dangerous legislation today,” said José Álfaro, Director of Latinx Engagement at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Make no mistake, this bill is an attempt by extremists to legalize murder, full stop. Arizona families deserve better. People coming to this country seeking a better life deserve better. Encouraging people to shoot first and think later will not solve our nation’s border debates, but it will put the lives of innocent people in danger.” 

In 2010, Arizona kicked off a national trend by repealing its concealed carry permit requirement and passing a “stand your ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force, even when they can safely walk away from perceived danger. HB 2843 represents an alarming expansion of the current Shoot First laws in the state.

This session, lawmakers have already pushed various measures backed by the gun lobby – including SB 1198 and SB 1189, which would force Arizona universities, colleges and community colleges to let anyone with a concealed carry permit carry a concealed gun on campus – including in classrooms, dorms, and at sporting events, and restricting the power of  local governments to prohibit gun shows in their cities or counties. 

In an average year, 1,228 people die by guns in Arizona. Gun violence costs Arizona $15.9 billion each year, of which $253.2 million is paid by taxpayers. If Arizona had the gun death rate of our National Leaders—the eight states with the strongest gun safety laws—we could save 11,161 lives in the next decade. More information about gun violence in Arizona is available here

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