On Monday, the Arizona legislature returned to Phoenix for the start of the 2022 legislative session. Instead of prioritizing critical domestic violence legislation, lawmakers are already pushing a dangerous bill to force guns into schools. Gun violence prevention is more important than ever in the new year as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence and after a year of increased gun sales, an uptick of police violence and school gun violence, increased risk of suicide and domestic violence, and an increase in city gun violence.According to Tuscon.com, 2021 was a record-breaking year for homicides in the city. In fact, the city had 93 homicides last year —which is much higher than the former record of 79 homicides set in 2008.
During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers ignored the pleas of volunteers, survivors, and law enforcement officers and passed a reckless nullification bill that attempts to nullify federal gun safety laws, including the laws that prohibit people with dangerous histories from having firearms. Arizonans overwhelmingly support domestic violence legislation and polling found that Arizonans overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin – including a bill to disarm domestic abusers.
This year, lawmakers should reject efforts to force guns in schools, especially as school gun violence surges, and listen to their constituents by prioritizing proven legislation to prevent gun violence in the state — starting with legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
What to know about gun violence in Arizona:
- In Arizona, on average, over 1,000 people are shot and killed with a gun every year, and more than 1,000 more are wounded. Firearms are also the second leading cause of death among children and teens in Arizona.
- Between 2015-2019, nearly 100 women were fatally shot by a partner in Arizona. More than 60% of intimate partner homicides in the state are perpetrated by a gun.
- Gun violence costs Arizona $7.6 billion each year, of which $263.2 million is paid by taxpayers.
Statistics about gun violence in Arizona are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how Arizona gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Arizona Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.