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  • Writer's pictureArizona House Democrats

PRESS RELEASE: Arizona Democratic lawmakers part of White House push to prevent gun violence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                  

December 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid staggering statistics of nearly 50,000 gun-related deaths and more than twice as many firearms-related injuries last year, Representatives Jennifer Longdon, Analise Ortiz and Stephanie Stahl Hamilton took part in the nation's largest-ever convening of state legislators at the White House to address gun violence earlier today. They joined nearly 100 lawmakers from around the country to bring ideas to the table with Vice President Kamala Harris as the White House unveiled its new Office of Gun Violence Prevention and Safe States Agenda.


Many of the Agenda's initial proposals mirror Democratic legislative efforts over the past several years to pass common-sense, data-driven gun violence prevention measures in Arizona. Those include safe storage measures like Rep. Longdon's bill "Christian's Law," named in honor of Christian Petillo of Gilbert, who at the age of 15 was accidentally shot and killed with an unsecured firearm during a sleepover with friends. Longdon, a survivor of random gun violence, has also repeatedly introduced bills to strengthen gun background checks and to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers. 


Despite overwhelming public support to act, Republicans in the legislative majority have consistently refused to hear any efforts to reduce gun violence. Reps. Ortiz, Longdon and Stahl Hamilton said now is the time to redouble efforts to overcome Republican intransigence, not step back from a public health crisis.


“We must get ahold of the gun violence that continues to ravage our communities," said Ortiz, D-Phoenix. "This opportunity to connect with policymakers across the country shows the Biden administration’s commitment to making our communities safer. Arizonans are demanding common-sense gun violence prevention measures and our Democratic caucus is ready to bring home what we learned and deliver.”


"As a parent of three children who have gone through many traumatizing active-shooter drills, it was striking and heartbreaking to hear the gun violence epidemic described as the new abnormal for Generation Z," said Stahl Hamilton, D-Tucson. "The nation is calling out for change. Vice President Harris put forth a common-sense, evidence-informed plan to reduce gun violence, including ideas we have been working on in Arizona for years. It's time for the politicians standing in the way to hear and pass these measures as their communities are begging them to do."


Longdon, D-Phoenix, added, "Today was the first convening of the White House's Safer States Initiative, and it was an honor to be there with legislators from around the country sharing ideas and strategies. It shows the Administration's commitment to the issue of gun safety in America. We have a lot of work to do, with deeply politized opposition, but the public and the facts are on our side, so we won't stop working until we get results. I look forward to our next convening and the work to come." 




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