The Arizona chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Gov. Ducey signed HB 2111, legislation which would attempt to nullify federal gun safety laws, including the laws that prohibit people with dangerous histories from having firearms. The legislation would encourage extremists to defy federal gun laws by prohibiting state officials from assisting with the enforcement of federal public safety laws related to firearms.
“Today, our state became a little less safe,” said Sophia Ramirez, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action and survivor of domestic abuse and gun violence. “It’s disappointing that our lawmakers and governor continue to take Arizona backwards and ignore the will of constituents who want stronger gun safety laws — especially a law to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.”
The bill received widespread opposition from constituents and law enforcement officials. Today, volunteers with Moms Demand Action delivered a petition with over 2,400 signatures to Governor Ducey’s office yesterday morning urging the governor to veto the bill.
Nullifying federal law is unconstitutional and provisions in the bill would prevent law enforcement officers from protecting their communities from gun violence and encourage extremists to defy federal gun laws, including laws that keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Law enforcement officers are fighting on the frontlines of both COVID-19 and the gun violence public health crises and need lawmakers’ help more than ever. With over 1,000 gun deaths per year, Arizonans need proven gun safety laws to end this public health crisis, but under a nullification law, Arizona law enforcement officers would be discouraged from assisting federal authorities in keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Arizonans overwhelmingly support domestic violence legislation. Polling found that Arizonans overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin – including a bill to disarm domestic abusers. Between 2015-2019, 94 women were fatally shot by a partner in the state. The high rate of gun violence in the state also costs Arizona $7.6 billion each year, of which $263.2 million is paid by taxpayers. Gun safety legislation such as HB 2583, which would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers— never received a hearing this session.
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.