This AZ lawmaker is tired of thoughts and prayers. Her gun violence bills are personal

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 12:47pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - 7:23am

Audio icon Download mp3 (13.83 MB)

Jennifer Longdon
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Jennifer Longdon speaks at a press conference for Moms Demand Action at the Arizona State Capitol on Jan. 23, 2023

The gun debate is once again center stage in American politics this week as the country reels from yet another school shooting — this time at a small private school in Nashville that left six people dead, including three 9-year-old children. 

But there is little faith that anything will change in the current political climate — including in Arizona. 

Last week, just days after the Nashville shooting, Democratic Rep. Jennifer Longdon motioned to bring a bill dubbed “Christian’s Law” to the Arizona House floor for a vote. The measure would require gun owners to keep firearms under lock and key when not in use. Republicans blocked the effort. 

Longdon has a personal interest in gun legislation. She was shot and paralyzed from the chest down in 2004.

Named after a 15-year-old from Gilbert who was shot and killed at a sleepover, Christian’s Law is just one of many attempts Longdon has made to bring gun legislation up for a vote to no avail. In her office last week, she told The Show her efforts didn’t have anything to do with Nashville.

Christian Petillo photo in Rep. Jennifer Longdon’s office
Lauren Gilger/KJZZ
A photo of Christian Petillo hangs in Rep. Jennifer Longdon’s office. The Gilbert 15-year-old was accidentally shot and killed with an unsecured firearm during a sleepover in 2021.

More stories from KJZZ

PoliticsThe Show