Sen. Linda Lopez Introduces New Gun Control Bill for Arizona

| by

A three-pronged bill was introduced Thursday afternoon by Senator Linda Lopez, D-Tuscon, which would regulate gun transactions outside of the State Capitol. 

According to State Press, the bill would make background checks on gun buyers a requirement, and would also ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. It also looks to repeal Senate Bill 1241 which says law enforcement is required to sell seized weapons to licensed gun dealers. 

Lopez said the ability for law enforcement to dispose of guns in the way they want is important. Arizonans for Gun Safety board member Geraldine Hills supported her opinion.

"The minimum revenue…is not worth the risk of guns being reused or the additional pain it causes to gun-violence victims," Hills said. 

Lopez also said she believes limiting the number of shots in magazines could reduce violent incidents. 

Universal background checks for every gun buyer would also be required by the legislation.

"Here we have something that is made just to kill, and we don't require it to be registered when it's a private sale," she said. "At least making sure that we contract weapons is very important."

With Arizona having one of the highest levels of violence, most citizens in the state support reasonable gun control.

"Day after day, there's blood shed on the streets of Arizona and across the country," Lopez said. 

By working at the Tuscon behavior health center La Frontera Arizona, Lopez has a deep understanding of mental health patients and the potential dangers of them having access to weapons.

"We are trying to make sure that those persons, whether they are mentally ill or just really mad, can't get out and get a gun that easily, and that they cannot access high-capacity clips," she said. 

A reverend from the United Church of Christ, John Dorhauer, also addressed the crowd in support of the legislation.

"If, after what happened in Newton, Connecticut, we can't pass reasonable gun control legislation…we have ceased to be a government for the people," he said. 

Many parents who have lost children from shootings also spoke in support of the bill. 

"I lost my son seven years ago," Jose Guzman said. "The guy used an AK-47." 

Guzman's son was 17 years old, working at Subway, when he was shot. 

Others, however, expressed disagreement with the legislation. Author Alan Korwin, who runs website, said it lacks knowledge of the subject. 

"Proposals like (Lopez's) get in the way of increasing the safety of children," Korwin said. "The problem is criminals with guns. Criminals should have no guns with no bullets at all."

He also explained that it does not address the issue of how to disarm criminals and it could interfere with people's rights.

"If she's infringing on the rights of innocent victims, then she's in direct violation of the Constitution," he said.