A bipartisan set of bills that aim to remove guns from the hands of those convicted of domestic violence or violent crimes against children were never heard by Republican committee chairmen, but the sponsors say they are committed to getting the measures signed into law.
Thursday afternoon, hundreds of parents dressed in red shirts gathered near the Capitol to rally in support of House Bill 2543 and Senate Bill 1165, which would prohibit people with domestic violence convictions from owning a gun.
The House bill is sponsored by Democrat Rep. Jennifer Longdon and the Senate version is sponsored by Republican Sen. Kate Brophy-McGee. Longdon was shot five times in a random shooting in 2004 and is paralyzed from the chest down.
“This issue has more support than strawberry ice cream,” Longdon told the crowd of supporters from Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group founded by the mother of a Sandy Hook shooting victim that lobbies for gun-control measures.
“I’m a Republican, but I am not an ideologue,” Brophy-McGee said. “I’m also a mom, and that trumps everything.”
Gun control legislation is introduced every year, but the Republican-controlled legislature rejects them – if it considers them at all.
However, Brophy-McGee and others seemed undeterred.
“We need to stand for women,” Brophy-McGee said. “We will get them done.”
Tracey Theisen, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and Arizona native shared a story of domestic violence she said she has only shared with five other people in her life.
Theisen said her abuser would often use a gun as a form of intimidation, taking it out and cleaning it as a reminder to dissuade her from asking questions, “keep her in her place” and threaten her.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that nearly 4.5 million women have been threatened by a significant other with a firearm.
Both the bills have been assigned to a committee, but neither have been heard. This is the final week for bills to be heard in committee in the chamber of origin.