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Arizona Central Column: “Arizona, where masks in classrooms are bad, but guns in classrooms are … good?”

February 14, 2022

Today, the Arizona Central published a column about lawmakers pushing SB 1123 and HB 2447, legislation to force guns on college campuses in the state. The piece highlights that the bill “isn’t based on some need, except the need for Arizona’s GOP lawmakers to appease the gun lobby.” SB 1123 and HB 2447 are just two of several dangerous bills lawmakers are pushing to weaken the state’s already dismal gun safety laws. Arizona has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, scoring only 8.5 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining a gun violence rate well above the national average. Despite this, state lawmakers continue to further weaken the state’s firearm laws each session.

From the piece:

“There is no need for firearms to be allowed on campus grounds. None. These bills simply fill the irrational compulsion GOP lawmakers have to appease the gun lobby.

And for what?

The last thing we need is a tragic situation in which students attempting to learn the lessons required to succeed in life wind up teaching the rest of us an unnecessary lesson about death.”

Lawmakers should protect Arizonans by rejecting dangerous legislation that would weaken the state’s gun laws and, instead, support gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, starting with legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Polling shows that Arizonans support stronger gun laws — including a bill to disarm domestic abusers — by an overwhelming 8:1 margin. 

More information on other the legislation moving in the Statehouse:  

  • HB 2316, dangerous legislation to allow guns in public spaces, is awaiting a House floor vote. If passed, the bill would effectively force public officials to allow guns in public buildings and at events held on public property across the state, including a number of places where guns would pose a serious risk, such as government buildings, concerts, demonstrations, and more. 
  • HB 2414, legislation that would allow people to carry loaded guns in school parking lots, is awaiting a House Floor vote. 
  • SB 1125, legislation to expand the scope of nullification of future gun safety laws, is awaiting a Senate floor vote. 
  • SB 1252, legislation to expand Arizona’s so called “Shoot First” or “Stand Your Ground” law which is already extreme and encourages people to shoot first and ask questions later, even when they could have safely walked away. The bill also allows police to use deadly force in certain situations even when there is no imminent threat. The bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Judiciary committee. 

Full piece is available here.

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