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Arizona Republic: ‘Abused spouses and partners aren’t getting any help from lawmakers. Which, in its own way, is a form of abuse.’

Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of Arizona lawmakers led by Republican Senator Kate Brophy McGee and Democratic Representatives Jennifer Longdon and Daniel Hernandez introduced SB 1165 and HB 2543, legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.  

But as the Arizona Republic’s E.J. Montini notes in a column Monday, instead of taking up the bills ahead of the Feb. 21 committee deadline, Republicans in the House and Senate spent time and energy on risky firearm-related proposals that would roll back public safety. 

Montini writes:

“[I]f you’re the kind of lowlife who roughs up his significant other to the point where you wind up with a domestic violence charge or an order of protection – but you want to make sure and keep your firearms – you might want to thank Arizona lawmakers for doing you a solid. 

If, however, you happen to be the victim of domestic violence, or the children of a victim of that type of violence, or one of their friends, or just a decent human being who cares about innocents in danger, it hasn’t been a particularly good session

.…

For now, the only clear and convincing evidence is that abused spouses and partners aren’t getting any help from lawmakers. Which, in its own way, is a form of abuse.”  

Arizona gun laws are among the weakest in the country, with no legal requirements for background checks on unlicensed gun sales, and Arizona experiences high rates of domestic violence gun homicide. Between 2012 and 2016, the rate of intimate partner gun homicide in Arizona was 66 percent higher than the national average. But to date, the legislature in Arizona has refused to take action to reduce gun violence, even when more than 1,000 Arizonans are shot and killed every year. 

Statistics about gun violence in Arizona are available here, and information on how Arizona’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with Arizona volunteers with Moms Demand Action or survivors of gun violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out.