People need to understand that Democrats are not out to take any law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment Rights away.

Democrats, like Republicans, recognize that law-abiding citizens have the right to own a firearm to either use for recreational activities like hunting or for self-protection in their homes.

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Democrats, and some Republicans, are also for sensible gun safety and protection measures like prohibiting domestic violence and child abusers from gaining access to weapons.

No one should be against these Red Flag Measures.

That is why it is astounding that Republicans have fallen on the wrong side of the gun issue (and also history) twice over the last week.

First, as reported by the Arizona Mirror, Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature have blocked committee consideration of House Bill (HB) 2543 and Senate Bill (SB) 1165. These bipartisan proposals call for the removal of weapons from domestic violence and child abusers.

Second, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, in a four to one vote, becoming the fifth Arizona county to become a “Second Amendment Preservation County.”

This vote is very counterproductive and unnecessary because, despite the ravings of fringe right-wing groups, no one in the mainstream is talking about amending the Constitution to take away the Second Amendment.

Reaction to the Stalled Red Flag Legislation.

As the Arizona Mirror writers reported, Republican and Democratic legislators like Kate Brophy McGee and Jennifer Longdon (a victim of gun violence which has left her permanently paralyzed) both vowed to continue the fight for the stalled Red Flag Legislation at the State Capital.

Several Democrats running to be part of the Arizona Legislature and Maricopa County Attorney’s Office starting in January 2021 also offered their views on the halted legislation.

Colonel Felicia French, a candidate for the State Senate Seat from LD Six wrote that:

“I support Moms Demand Action AZ members who are rightfully concerned about domestic violence abusers with unrestricted access to guns in Arizona. Abusers with firearms are five times more likely to kill their victims.”

“Common-sense laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous abusers will save lives. As a nurse, mom, and as a 32-year military veteran, I will always fight to protect the safety of our women and children, and help put an end to preventable domestic gun violence.”

Maricopa County Attorney Candidate Julie Gunnigle relayed:

“These bills deserved a hearing. I stand with Moms Demand Action and agree that Arizona should take steps to disarm domestic abusers. These bills have received an incredible amount of bipartisan support and support from voters. The fact that they will not receive a full hearing is yet another example of how out of touch many in the legislature are with the constituents they are supposed to represent.” 

LD 11 State Senate Candidate Linda Patterson offered:

“Strengthening state laws that can prohibit domestic abusers from possessing guns is necessary now. Requiring abusers to surrender their weapons can be effective in reducing the rates of murder. Today, two bills in the Arizona State Legislature have been proposed to intervene in this issue. We can join 38 other states in prohibiting the purchase or possession of firearms by some people convicted of domestic violence offenses. It is past time for our state to do so.”

“Unfortunately, the two bills aimed at joining this essential movement are being held up by the state legislature – a situation that has happened before. This would be a tragedy if it happened again.”

“Please contact legislators to encourage them to support these laws that can save innocent lives.   It is time for our state to stand up and lead. I support these proposed laws.”

Paul Stapleton-Smith, a State House Candidate for LD Ten commented:

“The House and Senate bills on gun safety protections that are stopped in their chambers are another example of single-issue voters and the NRA tactics of using fear, uncertainty, and doubt to paralyze our legislative process. The Trump Party reliably reaches for ideologically rigid positions on gun safety measures with no regard for scientific observations, nor enlightened law enforcement perspectives.”

Reaction to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Vote

Three Democratic Candidates for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors issued comments criticizing the vote to make Maricopa a “Second Amendment Preservation County.”

Deedra Abboud commented:

“Two weeks ago, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to intervene in the Ninth Circuit case to oppose counting out-of-precinct voters This week, the Board of Supervisors (BoS) voted 4 to 1 to pass a Resolution that they can refuse to enforce federal or state laws that are deemed by the BoS to violate individual rights or the Constitution – though nothing in the Resolution specifies who or how “unconstitutional” is determined by the BoS. It’s already illegal to violate the Constitution, though the Courts are supposed to decide “constitutionality” not the Board of Supervisors. Specifically, the resolution declares that the county “will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or officers to infringe on people’s constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.” And the BoS passed the Resolution to protect individual rights and the Constitution while violating the Constitutional individual rights of freedom of speech and right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances by not allowing public comments until AFTER the vote was done.”

Whitney Walker wrote:

“This morning the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors passed a dangerous resolution that could make it more difficult for the County to enforce future gun safety laws. By designating Maricopa County a “2nd Amendment Preservation County,” the Board has once again put our health, safety, and wellbeing in jeopardy to appease right-wing extremists. See below for my full statement on this morning’s Board decision.”

“When we win in November, I will do everything I can to support common-sense gun safety measures that will help keep our children and families safe…..”

Jevin Hodge issued a statement that read:

“I am incredibly disappointed in the actions taken by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors this morning to declare the County “A Second Amendment Preservation County.”

“The Board should be prioritizing their efforts on issues such as addressing our homelessness crisis and public health as we may be at the brink of a pandemic, not flashy headlines. The people of Maricopa County deserve better.” 

Maricopa County Democratic Chair Steve Slugocki posted on Facebook:

“Shame on the Maricopa Board of Supervisors and Chair Clint Hickman, who changed the rules to not take public comment until AFTER the vote on the gun sanctuary resolution. The resolution, unfortunately, passed 4 to 1. Proud of Supervisor Steve Gallardo who gave a passionate speech about rejecting this divisive resolution, he is a true advocate for our community. I understand the Presidency and Senate get all the attention, but we desperately need to change the leadership in county positions. I hope you will join us in working hard to flip this County.”

Mr. Hodge is right. The Board of Supervisors has other more pressing issues to consider than a symbolic vote that means nothing.

The same can be said for the Republicans blocking Red Flag Proposals in the State Legislature. Instead of taking valuable time voting on measures to combat voter fraud that does not exist or tax cuts that no one really needs, they should debate measures that will make victims of spousal and child abuse safer.

That is what the majority of the people who elected these public servants want. It is time for the legislators that the people elected to get it done.

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