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 Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 2551, legislation that would force guns in concerts, recreation centers, children’s events, parades, and libraries.
“Arizonans overwhelmingly support legislation to disarm domestic abusers and reduce gun violence, but instead lawmakers continue to fast track reckless legislation that could increase gun violence,” said Anvitha Doddipalli, a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in Arizona and a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board. “With more than 1,000 Arizonans dying from gun violence every year, it’s past time to prioritize gun safety — starting with opposing this legislation and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.”
Forcing guns into sensitive places where they don’t belong could increase gun violence. The legislation would also burden local officials with new security requirements and force them to spend taxpayer money on metal detectors and security guards if they want to keep guns out of their buildings and events. Every year, gun violence costs Arizona $7.6 billion with $263.2 million of which is paid by taxpayers. This number could increase if this reckless and expensive legislation moves forward.
Instead of forcing guns into place they don’t belong, lawmakers should be focused on proven solutions to gun violence like disarming domestic abusers. Polling found that Arizonans overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin – including a bill to disarm domestic abusers.
This session, HB 2764, legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, never received a single hearing. Police departments and domestic violence advocates in Arizona reported increases in the number of domestic violence calls during the pandemic. And even before the pandemic, domestic violence was an issue in Arizona — between 2015-2019, a total of 94 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in the state.