Journalists’ Roundtable: Red flag laws, early voting lawsuit
May 27, 2022
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for this week’s Journalists’ Roundtable. This edition’s guests include Jeremy Duda of Axios-Phoenix, Mary Jo Pitzl of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and Laurie Roberts, also from The Arizona Republic.
This week’s topics are:
- Reaction to Texas school shooting
- Is Ducey going to revive red flag law efforts?
- Ducey calls out Kari Lake
- Attorney General will not defend the State of Arizona in an early voting lawsuit
- Auditor General report on long-term care facilities
- No criminal sanctions on petition gatherers
What were legislators’ reactions to the Texas school shooting, and how will they affect policy changes, if any?
Laurie Roberts: “We’re at a point where we can’t even agree to something that is wildly popular, and that’s universal background checks. They won’t even consider it. It’s just the same old cycle that we’re in, circle of horror, and we can’t find a way out of it, and we will re-elect every one of these people. And so it goes on.”
Mary Jo Pitzl: “There’s just this divide, and I wonder, ‘is it guns? No, it’s mental health. It’s the culture. No, it’s guns.’ Why isn’t there a consensus that those things affect each other? Why is it one or the other?”
The governor has pushed for “red flag laws.” Why are they not happening?
Jeremy Duda: “There are really two problems for him with this law. One was Republicans and one was Democrats. Republicans thought it went too far. They didn’t want to infringe on people’s second amendment rights. They were worried that people could be falsely accused. A lot of Democrats actually opposed it in the legislature, too. They thought it didn’t go far enough. They wanted to see universal background checks. They wanted to see a lot of other things, they basically said it was watered down.”
Laurie Roberts: “To pass it without there being a requirement for universal background checks doesn’t make a lot of sense, in that if I take away your gun, if I’m a judge and I say ‘yeah, you’re a danger to yourself or others, I’ll take away your gun,’ all you got to do is go to the classified ads, go to the guy selling guns out of his trunk, go to the gun show, and buy another one, but you don’t require a background check.”