As the Arizona legislature returns to Phoenix for the start of the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers will again have the opportunity to pass common-sense gun safety bills — starting with a bill to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Gun violence prevention is more important than ever as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence and Arizona faces continued police violence, increased risk of suicide and domestic violence, and an increase in city gun violence. This year, lawmakers should protect Arizonans by rejecting dangerous legislation that would weaken our gun laws, and by supporting gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives.
What to know about gun violence in Arizona:
- On average, over 1,000 people are shot and killed with a gun every year. The rate of gun homicide deaths in Arizona increased gun homicide increased 22%, compared to 18% nationwide. Black people are six times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people.
- From 2014 to 2018, 87 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Arizona. This represents nearly 70% of all intimate partner gun homicides in the state. Police departments and domestic violence advocates in Arizona reported increases in the number of domestic violence calls during the pandemic.
- Firearms are the second leading cause of death for children and teens. In an average year, 64 children and teens die by gun in Arizona and Black children and teens in Arizona are two times as likely as their white peers to die by guns.
- Arizonans overwhelmingly support domestic violence legislation. Polling found that Arizonans overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin – including a bill to disarm domestic abusers.
Last year, the Arizona legislature adjourned the legislative session without action on bipartisan legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and it failed to address the rise of domestic violence in Arizona amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of moving a life-saving gun safety bill forward, Republicans in the legislature prioritized risky legislation that would jeopardize the safety of Arizonans for a second year in a row.
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 and/or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.