Wednesday, March 27, 2013

House Democrats condemn efforts to distribute shotguns in Tucson neighborhoods

STATEMENT: House Democrats condemn efforts to distribute shotguns in Tucson neighborhoods

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats respond to reports that the Armed Citizen Project plans to distribute shotguns to residents in three Tucson neighborhoods.

Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), released the following statement:

“This is plain lunacy. This group is planning to distribute shotguns in three neighborhoods, Pueblo Gardens, Midvale Park and the Grant-Campbell area. These neighborhoods did not request to be part of this twisted social experiment.  This effort is spearheaded by a former Tucson political candidate who is looking to grab headlines. If this is such a good idea, why isn’t he handing out shotguns to people in his own neighborhood?

“Obviously, this group is out of touch with what the people of Arizona want. Arizonans in Tucson and across the state are demanding that we reduce gun violence and create safer communities. Handing out shotguns is not a solution. I’ve been working with my colleagues to prevent tragedies like the one Tucson experienced when a mentally unstable person shot and killed six people and attempted to kill a congresswoman. Investing money in the Mental Health First Aid program would have been a great start. That program trains people to better recognize and help those who are experiencing a mental health crisis.  Supporting the program would have been a real solution, not a political stunt. Unfortunately, extremists at the Legislature blocked that effort. Regardless, I will continue to work on common-sense reforms because Arizonans deserve more than political grandstanding.”

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), released the following statement:

“The plan to hand out shotguns in neighborhoods is ideological extremism at its worst. This is a political gimmick that could have dangerous consequences. It is not a real solution to the violence that is occurring in our state and across the country.

“The people of Arizona have issued a very clear directive – help us make our communities safer. I proposed a series of bills that presented a comprehensive approach to protecting our schools and communities from gun violence perpetrated by those who have, too often, slipped through the cracks of our legal or mental health systems. My plan would have increased school safety and security, provided mental health services and interventions to stop those with severe mental health issues from having access to firearms. It also would have ensured only those who can pass a background check would have access to the most deadly guns.

“A handful of extremist ideologues at the Capitol were able to keep this legislation from moving forward. It is evidence that these extremists would rather push an ideological agenda than engage in any meaningful attempts to curb gun violence in our state.  

“Instead, the response from the extremists is to hand out shotguns. How does that make any sense? It makes me wonder what is next.”


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