Phoenix, Ariz. — Today, Arizona State Representatives Jennifer Longdon, Laura Terech, Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, Everytown for Gun Safety Managing Director of Volunteer Engagement Ken Gonzalez, and over 100 volunteers from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action called for action on gun safety during their annual advocacy day in Phoenix. This year’s advocacy day coincides with the celebration of 10 years of Moms Demand Action’s life-saving work to protect our families and communities from gun violence.
“In the last 10 years, the grassroots gun violence prevention movement has changed the political calculus on gun safety in Arizona,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We stopped all the gun lobby’s priorities in the legislature last year then rejected extremism to elect gun sense champions up and down the ballot, including four of our own Moms Demand Action volunteers. Now we’re building on that progress and demanding action to save lives from gun violence.”
“We are gathering at the State Capitol because Arizonans have made clear that we deserve to be safe from senseless gun violence,” said Teresa Neiberg, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Communities across Arizona continue to be devastated by gun violence and we shouldn’t wait for the next tragedy to strike before acting – the time for action is now. We look forward to working with lawmakers and gun sense champion Governor Katie Hobbs to pass common-sense gun safety laws, and save lives.”
In 2010, Arizona became one of the first states to repeal its concealed weapons permitting requirement, kick-starting a dangerous national trend—allowing people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public without training or background checks. In recent years, lawmakers have introduced several dangerous pieces of legislation to weaken Arizona’s gun law even further but thanks to the advocacy of Arizona Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, the year ended without the passage of a single gun lobby priority bill.
Last year, Moms Demand Action volunteers participated in dozens of activations to support gun sense candidates up and down the ballot in Arizona, flipping key statewide offices and electing gun sense champions like Governor Katie Hobbs. As a state with a long tradition of gun ownership, Arizona’s election results are further proof that the political calculus on this issue has shifted in favor of gun safety. Everytown released polling that showed that the vast majority of voters in Arizona support common-sense gun safety laws, including 86 percent for background checks on all gun sales, and 92 percent in favor of secure storage.
This year, Moms Demand Action volunteers throughout our Nation are asking lawmakers to take action and pass proactive measures that will save lives. This comes after Moms Demand Action volunteers had major success this past election cycle — across the country 150 Moms Demand Action volunteers won their race for office, and gun violence prevention proved to be a winning issue — including in Arizona. In addition to Gun Sense Candidates winning all the statewide elections in Arizona, four Moms Demand Action volunteers were elected to the state house: State Senator Christine Marsh, and State Representatives Jennifer Longdon, Nancy Gutierrez, and Laura Terech.
In an average year in Arizona, 1,155 people die by guns and 919 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Arizona $15.9 billion each year, of which $253.2 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Arizona is available here. To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].