PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Arizona chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Arizona House Government and Elections Committee passed HB 2111 and HB 2551, which would attempt to nullify federal gun safety laws, including the laws that prohibit people with dangerous histories from having firearms by encouraging extremists to defy federal gun laws, and effectively force public officials to allow guns in public buildings and at events held on public property across the state, respectively.
“With law enforcement officers at the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems unfathomable for our lawmakers to be passing laws that would interfere with their abilities to save lives,” said Teresa Neiberg, a volunteer leader with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Lawmakers should prioritize proven legislation to end our gun violence crisis — not add to it.”
“These bills are nothing more than an attempt to appease the gun lobby,” said Anvitha Doddipalli, a volunteer leader with Arizona Students Demand Action and a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board. “With over 1000 people dying by guns each year in Arizona, we need legislation that will help end this public health crisis and lawmakers who are willing to stand up for it. Arizonans deserve better.”
HB 2111 would threaten the enforcement of an array of federal public safety laws and discourage Arizona state and local law enforcement from assisting in the enforcement of these laws. HB 2551 could force guns into concerts, recreation centers, children’s events, parades, demonstrations, libraries and any number of other public events. And if local officials wanted to keep guns out of buildings or events, it would cost taxpayers money to add new security requirements such as metal detectors and security guards.
Arizona already has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, and under a nullification law Arizona law enforcement officers would be discouraged from assisting federal authorities in enforcing federal gun safety laws, like keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. These bills would discourage local law enforcement cooperation with federal law enforcement and likely put Arizona survivors of domestic abuse in danger of even more violence.
Additional information on gun violence in Arizona is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how Arizona’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.