Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Republican Senator Heather Carter introduced SB 1219, legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Soon after, Arizona Republic Columnist EJ Montini published a column calling on legislators and Gov. Ducey to support this common-sense legislation.
The link between domestic violence and guns is deadly, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers should be a priority for the new legislature. Research shows that access to a firearm in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. And Arizona’s rate of intimate partner firearm homicide is staggeringly high – 66 percent higher than the national average between 2012 and 2016. No family in Arizona should live in terror of a domestic abuser armed with a gun hurting them or their loved ones.
But unfortunately, Arizona has not taken adequate action to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
As Montini writes:
“There is a federal law on the books dealing with this issue but it has numerous loopholes, which the Arizona proposal aims to fill. Nearly 30 other states have passed laws that in one way or another enhance the federal law.
“The proposed Arizona bill would expand on federal law by moving beyond spouses to prohibit convicted dating partners from purchasing or possessing firearms. Abusers also would be required to turn in guns they already own.”
Montini closes by saying:
“I’d guess that keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers is something that just about everyone would agree with.
“But agreement isn’t protection.
“Agreement won’t stop abusers from killing their spouses or girlfriends.
“For that you need a strong, enforceable law.”
We couldn’t agree more. To learn more about the link between domestic violence and guns and how SB 1219 would help keep Arizona women and families safe, please don’t hesitate to reach out.