Governor Ducey says he is ready to impose gun control regulations
March 15, 2018
Governor Doug Ducey says he will be looking over gun control regulations as early as next week while lawmakers recently introduced four new measures that are still waiting to be heard.
The requests for gun control regulations comes in the wake of the school shooting that took place in Parkland, Fla., and the March for Our Lives movement organized by students to ask their lawmakers to do something. These are the four measures that have recently been introduced:
HB 2024: Requires universal criminal background checks including at gun shows or in private sales
HB 2001: Nearly identical to HB 2024, but asks legislators to put the issue of universal background checks on the ballot to allow voters to decide
HB 2140: Process where family members or police officers can have a judge stop someone with mental health issues from having a gun
HB 2299: Requires a person on probation for domestic violence to hand all their firearms over to a law enforcement agency
Rep. Randall Friese, R-Tucson, became a politician after working as a trauma surgeon during the shooting that happened involving Gabrielle Giffords. He says he is pushing for stronger gun safety and responsible ownership measures rather than gun control.
“At this point we need something meaningful,” Friese says. “Arizona has had enough of half measures. We really need a meaningful step here so people feel like we are doing something to keep them safe.”
One of the first steps toward making the public feel safer is enforcing a comprehensive system of background checks. Friese brings up a study that showed background checks would reduce the amount of domestic violence shootings and police officer shootings.
The measures listed above do not strip away anyone’s Second Amendment right, Friese says. There are also a number of exceptions woven into each measure. Scenarios including a parent giving their child a gun to go hunting, a person handing down an antique gun to a relative and loaning a gun to a friend because they think they are in danger are only a few of the exceptions included where a background check wouldn’t be required.
HB 2140, which lays out a process for telling a judge that someone shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms, is also an iceberg where there’s more under the quick summary. Someone who has a history of violence, has made suicide attempts, is mentally ill, are off their medication and other factors are traits that a person can bring to a judge. The individual would then be required to hand over their guns, certify that they don’t own any or be subjected to a search warrant. The injunction is valid for a year unless the individual requests a hearing to get their firearms back or it is renewed after the year is over.
There are many suggestions of arming individuals on school campuses, whether teachers or school resource officers. Freise has a different idea on where the money can be spent.
“I believe if we are going to increase funding, we need to increase funding for mental health counselors and social workers in schools,” Freise says. “They are the ones who will recognize the signs.”
Freise says it should be the school board’s decision on where the money goes, not the state’s.