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Shameful: Republican-Led Committees Shelve Legislation to Disarm Domestic Abusers

PHOENIX  – The Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Arizona House and Senate Judiciary Committees failed to take up legislation to disarm domestic abusers, House Bill 2543 and Senate Bill 1165, before the Feb. 21 committee deadline, despite bipartisan sponsorship in both chambers and overwhelming support among Arizonans for stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin.

“It’s shameful that Arizona Republicans let the clock run out on legislation to disarm domestic abusers, and instead spent their time on risky gun proposals that would make Arizonans less safe,” said Tracey Theisen, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I’m alive today because I escaped from my abuser. But sadly, I’m not alone in knowing what it’s like to be threatened with a gun. Arizona Republicans must act to ensure that session doesn’t come to an end without taking meaningful action to disarm domestic abusers and reduce gun violence in our state.”

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. 

Instead, Republicans have spent time and energy on risky firearm-related proposals that would roll back public safety, while running out the clock on critical legislation to keep Arizona women and families safe.

Polling shows that Arizonans overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin and 75 percent of voters, including 78 percent of voters who support stronger gun laws, consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020. This month, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund announced a $250,000 digital campaign to put Arizona state lawmakers “on notice” and pressure them to pass common-sense gun safety legislation, including a bill to disarm domestic abusers. 

Arizona Moms Demand Action volunteers are still calling on the legislature to take meaningful action to disarm domestic abusers this session. Thus far, Arizona lawmakers have refused to consider the issue.