On Wednesday, a shooter killed 17 children and educators in Parkland, Florida. As news of the tragedy broke, the Arizona House Judiciary Committee was busy voting to move forward on legislation backed by the extremist gun lobby.
HB2535 will make it harder to protect foster children from gun violence, gutting the existing regulations that require foster parents to lock up their guns. Members of the House must oppose this dangerous bill, which prevents the Department of Child Services or any other child welfare agency from regulating the possession, transfer, or storage of a firearm.
As a gun safety advocate and volunteer for the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, I know that safe gun storage saves lives. Every year, nearly 300 children unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. Nearly 500 more die by suicide with a gun. Most of these deaths could be prevented by safe gun storage.
HB2535 will endanger foster children’s lives — and the lives of their playmates, classmates, and communities. That’s why I am calling on Representatives Barton and Thorpe to vote NO on HB2535. As the nation once again mourns the deaths of innocent children, lawmakers should be making it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands — not easier. Arizonans must insist that our lawmakers foster a culture of responsible gun ownership.