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As the 2023 Legislative Session Starts Today in Arizona, a New Opportunity to Prioritize Gun Safety Begins

January 10, 2023

This week, lawmakers returned to Phoenix to officially start the new legislative session. As the state welcomes a new administration and changing political climate, policymakers have a new opportunity to save lives and prioritize common-sense gun safety legislation. In recent years, Moms Demand Action volunteers have helped defeat legislation that would have allowed loaded firearms in motor vehicles parked on the property of schools and other gun lobby priorities that would allow more guns in Arizona communities and schools put children and communities in danger. This legislative session lawmakers should present measures to help protect domestic violence survivors, prevent intimate partner homicides, and promote suicide prevention — all with the goal of ending gun violence in Arizona. 

In 2010, Arizona became one of the first states to repeal its concealed weapons permitting requirement, kick-starting a dangerous national trend to allow people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public without a background check or training. In recent years, Arizona state legislators have introduced several more dangerous pieces of legislation, including one bill that would have allowed loaded firearms in cars parked at K–12 schools. And in 2022, lawmakers proposed HB 2316 which would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to carry at certain public events even if the operator or authority asks them to remove their gun from the space. This session, lawmakers have a chance to instead present life-saving measures to require ecure firearm storage and put in place an extreme risk law. In addition, lawmakers should repeal its shoot first law, also known as stand your groun, which allows people to use deadly force as the first option rather than the last, even when they can clearly and safely walk away, and claim self-defense. 

What to know about gun violence in Arizona: 

  • Currently, every 9 hours, someone in Arizona dies due to gun violence
  • The state has a rate of 15.6 deaths per 100,000 people – the 19th highest rate of gun deaths in the US. 
  • In 2019, 28 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Arizona. 78 percent of female intimate partner homicide victims were killed with a gun
  • Guns are the 3rd-leading cause of death among children and teens in Arizona. In Arizona, an average of 78 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 42 percent of these deaths are suicides and 49 percent are homicides. 
  • An estimated 69 percent of the average 798 gun related deaths per year are reported as suicide. In Arizona, the rate of gun suicide increased 3% and gun homicide increased 37% from 2011 to 2020, compared to a 12% increase and 70% increase nationwide, respectively. 

More information about gun violence in Arizona is available here

If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Arizona Moms Demand Action about advocacy and gun violence prevention in the state, please reach out to [email protected].

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]