Wednesday, April 17, 2013

STATEMENT: Campbell on U.S. Senate’s failure to require background checks for more firearm purchases

STATEMENT: Campbell on U.S. Senate’s failure to require background checks for more firearm purchases
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), reacted with disbelief and outrage at the news that the U.S. Senate today rejected a proposal to require background checks for more firearm purchases. He released the following statement:

“The U.S. Senate vote is a slap in the face to every parent whose child was lost in the Sandy Hook shootings as well as the countless other gun deaths that have needlessly occurred in this country. The bill defeated in the Senate today would have only expanded the background check requirements on gun show and internet sales.

“It was a weak compromise in my opinion. We also need background checks on private purchases, as I have proposed here in Arizona. The fact that members of the U.S. Senate refuse to even pass this modest reform is just unconscionable. Law-abiding gun owners have nothing to fear from a background check. Background checks are intended to ensure the safety of the public by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and people struggling with mental instability.

“It is easier to get a gun than a driver’s license in this country, and that is just not right. The stranglehold that a few extremists have over the politics of the gun issue is deplorable. Elected officials must stand up to the gun lobby and do the right thing - the moral thing. The U.S. Senators who voted to oppose background checks and killed this bill should be ashamed of themselves.”

Campbell, a gun owner and supporter of the Second Amendment, introduced a package of reforms in the Arizona House of Representatives earlier this year to address school safety and to promote common-sense gun reforms. None of the bills he introduced were given a hearing by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

A summary of those bills is below:

HB 2374 - school safety program; funding; expansion
Provides funding for the School Safety Program and more on-campus School Resource Officers, requires schools to conduct and update regularly a comprehensive threat assessment with the technical assistance of the Arizona Department of Education’s School Safety and Prevention Unit, provides funding for enhanced school security measures and doubles the number of school counselors to provide more mental health professionals in the school to help identify children who may need services and intervention.

HB 2375 - behavioral health services; appropriation
Provides funding for services to seriously mentally ill individuals who do not qualify for other health care programs. Representative Campbell also supports full expansion of Medicaid coverage to individuals with an income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level to ensure expanded access to mental health services.

HB 2083 - RBHA; treatment outcomes; measurement tools
Reforms the mental health care system to incorporate incentives for providers to produce positive outcomes for the clients they serve.

HB 2376 - mandatory mental health evaluation; admission
Requires law enforcement coming into contact with an armed person who appears to be a threat to him/herself or others to temporarily seize the firearm and initiate a court hearing process to determine whether that person should be allowed to own a firearm.

HB 2377 - prohibited possessor; voluntary commitment; restoration
Establishes a court hearing process for voluntarily committed persons to determine whether they should be allowed to own firearms.

HB 2378 - destruction; forfeited or unclaimed firearms
Ensures that local government agencies can adopt ordinances to allow for the disposal of guns they obtain through seizure, forfeiture or abandonment, including through firearm “buy back” programs.

HB 2379 – prohibited possessor; order of protection
Prohibits persons from owning a firearm if they have an order of protection issued against them which has been issued after a full judicial proceeding where both parties were present.
HB 2380 - concealed carry; permit requirements; offense
Reinstates the training and other requirements that were in place previous to 2010 related to receiving a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

HB 2381 - firearms; sales; transfers; background checks
Closes the gun show loophole by requiring sales and transfers to take place through a federally licensed firearms dealer to ensure all background checks and other requirements are met and requires that person-to-person sales, loans and transfers of any firearms defined as “assault weapons” be processed by a licensed dealer to ensure all background checks and other requirements are met. 


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