PHOENIX – The Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the introduction of Senate Bill 1219, legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. This bipartisan legislation was introduced today by Sen. Heather Carter, Sen. Sean Bowie, Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, Rep. Randy Friese, Rep. Daniel Hernandez, and Rep. Jennifer Longdon.
The bill would match Arizona law to federal law in prohibiting domestic abusers who are are subject to a final domestic violence restraining order or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from purchasing or possessing firearms, giving local law enforcement the tools to bring abusers to justice if they illegally own firearms. The bill would also fill in gaps in federal law by prohibiting convicted dating partners from purchasing or possessing firearms, as well as requiring that abusers turn in guns they already own, so they can’t do further harm with guns they have at home.
Since 2013, 29 states from every region of the country have taken action to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Many of these measures have passed with strong bipartisan majorities and have been signed into law by Republican governors, including Gary Herbert in Utah, Brian Sandoval in Nevada, and Vice President Mike Pence in Indiana.
“I’m heartened to see our legislators work to create meaningful change to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers,” said Jessica Manos, volunteer chapter leader with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “No one should ever have to live in fear of being shot and killed by their abuser. Arizona families deserve the full protection of the law, and we look forward to working with Sen. Carter and other lawmakers to make this legislation a reality.”
“The gaps in both state and federal law as it stands make it too easy for domestic abusers to get their hands on a gun,” said Senator Heather Carter. “Between 2012 and 2016, the rate of intimate partner gun homicide in Arizona was 66 percent higher than the national average. That is unacceptable. Across the country, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have worked across the aisle to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and it’s time we did the same. I’m proud to introduce legislation that protects victims of domestic violence in our state.”
Arizona experiences high rates of domestic violence gun homicide. Between 2013 and 2017, 195 people were killed by an intimate partner in Arizona. Of these intimate homicides, 65 percent were killed with a gun.