Category Archives: Gun Policies

House approves massive spending bill, moves to Senate to avert a government shutdown (Updated)

The U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 256-167 (proceeding under the TARGET Act) has approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill to avert a government shutdown and to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, sending the measure over to the Senate ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.

Arizona Delegation: YES McSally, O’Halleran, Sinema; NO Biggs, Gallego, Gosar, Grijalva, Schweikert.

The Senate is expected to vote late on Thursday or Friday, before current government funding expires at midnight on Friday. There could still be another brief Aqua Buddha shutdown from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) desperately seeking attention.

You can read the massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill to search for what is hidden in it.

Here are a few highlights of what is (and is not) in the spending bill compiled from several sources including the Washington Post, Politico, and


Defense spending generally favored by Republicans is set to rise $80 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel and $144 billion for Pentagon hardware.

Domestic spending generally favored by Democrats is set to rise by $63 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including increases in funding for infrastructure, medical research, veterans programs and efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Civilian federal employees get a 1.9 percent pay raise.

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Ducey & #AZLeg Debate Gun Violence Prevention Ideas

Arizona House Democrats

Arizona House Democrats call the Governor’s gun safety plan a “missed opportunity” at meaningful reform to curb gun violence and the loss of innocent lives.

Since the Parkland High School massacre a few weeks ago, students across the country have been demanding that elected officials do their jobs and protect them against gun violence in schools and other public places.

Last week, 75 students visited the Arizona Legislature and the Governor’s Tower to ask for legislation on universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and more counselors (not more guns) in schools.

Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey revealed his plan to tackle gun violence in Arizona. It nips around the edges of what students and others have been demanding on social media, in our Legislative email inboxes, and in the streets, but it falls short of meaningful reform. For example, Ducey’s plan does include a small amount of money for more school counselors. Currently, Arizona has a ratio of approximately 1:920 counselors to students. The national recommendation is 1:250. Ducey’s bill would add ~120 new counselors– far less than needed. As with the opioid bill, Ducey met with a small group of Republican and Democratic Legislators to compile this plan, but this time, Ducey didn’t include any of the Democrats’ ideas.  (Read the mainstream media’s take on  Ducey’s plan here or read the Blue Meanie’s take here.)

What else could be done in Arizona? Below the fold, you’ll find a list of Democratic bills that never got a hearing.

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Ducey’s plan: essentially the NRA plan, but with a twist

Our Koch-bot Governor Ducey announced his long-awaited plan for gun safety in our schools yesterday. It is essentially to “harden” schools with more people armed with guns on campus — exactly the opposite of what student activists are calling for — and to throw a little bit more money at school counselors. This is essentially the NRA plan, short of arming classroom teachers, which Ducey says he opposes.

Ducey’s plan does include a twist, likely to be opposed by gun rights absolutists like the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the NRA: Ducey is supporting a version of the severe threat order of protection to remove guns from individuals who pose a danger to themselves and to others. This is a much needed change in the law, and I applaud him for finally coming around to see the light on this issue.

But the question remains, however, how much influence will the governor have with extremist Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature to actually pass this STOP order provision? He will have Democratic votes for this provision and needs to bring along enough Tea-Publicans to form a majority in each chamber.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Ducey school-shooter proposal adds cops, mental-health services to campuses:

Gov. Doug Ducey proposed boosts to mental health services at schools, a greater law enforcement presence on school campuses and fixing some, but not all, loopholes in background checks on gun sales in response to a mass shooting a month ago in Florida.

Ducey’s plan, which he’ll need to convince the state Legislature to approve, focuses on school safety following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. It includes some new dollars to help pay for school psychiatrists, a program that would allow former cops to act as armed, volunteer security guards at schools, and an unspecified amount of state funding to help more schools hire school resource officers.

So far, this is in line with the NRA plan. But here is a twist:

It also provides an opportunity to have guns seized from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, a legal process Democrats in Arizona have been calling for all legislative session.

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(Update) March For Our Lives – Arizona

Acording to the March For Our Lives web site, the sanctioned “sibling” marches for Arizona this week are listed below. If there are any that I may have missed, please post the information about any additional march in the comments.


Safford Walk For Our Kids Lives
Wednesday, March 21, 10:00 AM
Public Rally
8490 South U.S. Highway 191
Safford, AZ 85546


March for Our Lives – Phoenix, AZ
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 AM
Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007


March for Our Lives – Tucson, AZ
Saturday, March 24, 11:00 AM
Jacome Plaza
115 N. Church Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

March for Our Lives
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 AM
Sahuarita High School
Desert Gem and Sahuarita Road
Sahuarita, AZ 85629

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Governor Ducey bends under pressure from student protestors

Wednesday’s National School Walkout event at the Arizona Capitol culminated in a two-hour sit-in at the office of Gov. Doug Ducey, who did not come out to meet with the students. Montini: Gov. Doug Ducey disses student protesters … lesson learned.

Gov. Ducey has said he is meeting with various interest groups – not high school students, obviously – and has promised to come up with his own legislative proposals, possibly as early as next week. The governor has hinted that could include something similar to Rep. Randy Friese’s bill on emergency seizure of weapons.

Emulating our Twitter-troll-in-chief, on Thursday Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey goes on tweetstorm over gun control, one day after student sit-in:

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that his plan to improve school safety in Arizona could include tighter gun laws in several areas, a surprising move for a Republican governor in a red state.

In a flurry of afternoon tweets, Ducey outlined what his office said will be the basic components of his plan. Ducey said he is working on a bipartisan bill to tackle the issue.

“We are building an aggressive plan that address all these issues around school safety,” he tweeted. “Arizona can lead the nation in tackling this — and in a way that is non-partisan. We’ve done this on other issues, and we can do it again.”

Ducey’s posts came less than 24 hours after students from the group March for Our Lives Phoenix staged a dramatic sit-in outside his office.

Ducey did not meet with the students, but has talked with other interest groups in recent weeks.

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Whiny Republicans respond to student protests at the Arizona Capitol

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley covered this story from her perspective the other day, Republicans Recess as Students & #AZHouse Dems Stand in Silence for Gun Violence Victims, and now Howard Fischer reports on the GOP perspective the following day, Republicans accuse Democrats of political theater over gun legislation:

A Prescott Republican lawmaker lashed out at Democrats Thursday, accusing them of being more interested in political “theater” than solving the question of gun violence in schools.

Rep. Noel Campbell said all lawmakers are upset about the shootings at Majory Stoneman High School in Florida, and he acknowledged the anger and frustration of students who walked out of their classrooms a day earlier on the one-month anniversary of that event.

“But I have a feeling some of you down here just want to be seen and not do anything,” Campbell said in his floor speech, citing not only the presence of students in the gallery on March 14 but also Democrats taking close to an hour to introduce the students by name and call attention to them and their demands for changes in state gun laws.

That, Campbell said, is not the way “to get things done.”

“It hardens positions,” he said, with the “theater” of Wednesday resulting in many Republicans choosing to leave the floor rather than sit through the introduction of individual students and the Democrat floor speeches.

“You drove us out of here,” Campbell said, saying Democrats are not interested in working with Republicans.

“You want to make an example of us. You want to embarrass us,” he said. “Well, see how effective that is.”

Campbell said if Democrats are interested in legislative solutions, they should forego these kinds of public spectacles and instead work with Republicans behind closed doors.

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