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Time is Running out for Arizona Lawmakers to Act on Domestic Violence

Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of Arizona lawmakers led by Republican Senator Heather Carter introduced SB 1219, legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

But as EJ Montini writes today in the Arizona Republic, the bill is “stuck for now in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Eddie Farnsworth…has yet to give it a hearing.”

All of this despite the bipartisan support for this type of law. Seventy-seven percent of Arizonans support prohibiting anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or anyone who is subject to a domestic violence restraining order from purchasing a gun. Seventy-one percent of Arizonans support requiring these individuals relinquish firearms they already own to law enforcement or a licensed gun dealer Arizona lawmakers to prevent future harm.

The link between domestic violence and guns is deadly, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers should be a priority. Research shows that access to a firearm in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. And Arizona’s rate of intimate partner firearm homicide is staggeringly high – 66 percent higher than the national average between 2012 and 2016. No family in Arizona should live in terror of a domestic abuser armed with a gun hurting them or their loved ones.

But unfortunately, Arizona has not taken adequate action to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers — and time is running out.

As Montini writes today in the Arizona Republic:

“Arizona lawmakers have one week to do what they can to save the lives of potential domestic abuse victims.

“Or, more precisely, one week to begin the process to save the lives of domestic abuse victims.

“Feb. 22 is the ‘crossover deadline’ for introduced bills to make the jump from one chamber to the next.

“In order for that to happen, of course, bills must be voted on and approved.

“That process can’t begin if a bill doesn’t even get a committee hearing.

“A bipartisan bill to make it illegal for a person convicted of domestic violence or a crime against children from having a firearm hasn’t gotten a hearing.”

If you’re interested in speaking to gun violence survivors, lawmakers or volunteers with the Arizona Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America about how SB 1219 would help keep Arizona women and families safe, please don’t hesitate to reach out.