It has been 25 days since the February 14th, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida.
25 days since Republican Rep. Payne passed a bill in the Arizona House of Representatives that will make it legal for foster care parents to have loaded firearms in their household, without securing the firearm in a storage locker.
Yes, the same afternoon as parents in Florida were waiting to hear if their child was safe, the Arizona Legislature passed HB2535.
It has been 20 days since Democrat Sen. Hobbs urged the legislature to hear SB1347, which would allow police officers and immediate family members to petition the court to remove firearms from people with a serious mental illness. It has been 20 days, and there has been no action taken by the Senate to hear SB1347.
It has been 19 days since Democrat Randy Friese demanded that the Arizona Legislature act now, to prevent high capacity, military style, weapons from being used against our children and families by hearing his bill HB2023. And 19 days since the Republican-run Legislature voted down Rep. Friese motion and persisted that it is violent video games, the legalization of abortion, and America’s culture that has caused an uptick in gun violence.
It has been 24 days since Democrat Kristin Engle called on Governor Ducey to form a “Task Force for the Prevention of Potential School Violence.” Rep. Engle implored the Republican caucus to join in this effort to investigate violence on school campuses and to find bipartisan solutions to this ongoing crisis. It has been 15 days since the letter was delivered to Governor Doug Ducey.
And each day since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida a Democratic Senate member has given a eulogy for one of the victims of the shooting on the Arizona Senate floor or has urged Republican members to act on legislation to prevent further violence.
And in those 25 days, the public has heard nothing but empty sentiments of empathy and hollow statements for reform from Gov. Ducey.
On Monday, Democratic caucus members will join local activist groups such as Gun Violence Prevention Arizona for a press conference at the Arizona State Capitol in the Rose Garden to once again urge the Legislature and Governor Ducey to act on several bills introduced this session by Democrats that can prevent further violence on school campuses or to form a bipartisan Task Force that includes all key stakeholders.
For review, see the bills listed below:
- HB2024/SCR1015, which will ensure universal background checks for all gun sales in the state
- HB2299/SB1224, which will keep weapons out of the hands of domestic violence offenders
- HB2023/SB1348, which will ban bump stocks and other accessories that turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic machine guns
- HB2140/SB1347, which will keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill
As of now, there are 13 days till the March for Our Lives rally at the Arizona State Capitol which will be lead by teen activist here in Arizona to call on the Governor and our Legislature to prevent the next school shooting from happening in Arizona and protect our communities from violence. The question is whether or not the Governor and the Republican legislative caucus has the capacity to do so.