Frustrations at the AZ Capitol as lawmakers stall gun legislation
Democratic state lawmakers have become frustrated with stalled gun legislation as they return to the Capitol on Tuesday.
Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios mentioned measures like waiting periods for gun sales and red flag policies don’t see the light of day.
“Gun violence must be enemy No. 1 for us. We owe that to our children. We owe that to every parent that has an empty chair at their dinner table tonight," Rios said.
Republicans have pushed instead for other bills like one that would allow for parents to keep loaded guns in their vehicles while on a school campus. GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers has argued the gun violence problem stems more from culture than guns.
Sen. Martín Quezada of Glendale says his bills, and others from the minority caucus, can’t even get a hearing.
“Senate Bill 1546 was introduced this year. That was my bill. This bill would have closed the gun show loophole, so background checks would have had to have been required. Senate bill 1547 was also my bill. That would have required a 3-day waiting period after the purchase of a firearm," he said.
Republicans instead have introduced and advanced bills designed to liberalize gun use in the state, such as one allowing gun owners to keep their weapons loaded on school grounds, and another that would expand areas in which concealed carry holders can bring their firearms.
Bowers argues the gun violence problem stems more from culture than it does from the weapons themselves.
"How is it, that as a culture, our reactions are so violent and that we see, and worship and pay for, and are entertained by violence to such a degree," Bowers said.
Quezada says it’s not too late to reopen debate and discussion on gun reform in the Arizona Legislature.
It’s estimated that a half-million firearms were sold in the state last year.