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Democrat dilemma on ‘red flag’ laws: Compromise to back Ducey’s plan or fight for tougher laws

Posted by   /  August 12, 2019  /  No Comments

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House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez has called for Gov. Doug Ducey to convene a special legislative session to pass universal background checks and other gun-related legislation.

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Democratic lawmakers in Arizona may soon have a tough decision to make on gun legislation: continue fighting for cherished but almost certainly unattainable goals, or buy into the notion that politics truly is the art of the possible and support a compromise.

In the wake of mass shootings that saw gunmen kill 22 people in El Paso, Texas, 9 in Dayton, Ohio, and 3 in Gilroy, California, House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez has called for Gov. Doug Ducey to convene a special legislative session to pass universal background checks and other gun-related legislation. Such proposals have traditionally been non-starters with the Republicans who control both chambers.

Meanwhile, the Ducey administration is talking about a renewed push for a stalled proposal that would allow people to petition a court to have someone’s guns temporarily taken away if they are considered a threat to themselves or others. 

Such laws are often referred to as “red flag” laws, and have recently been touted by President Donald Trump.

When Ducey first pitched his proposal as a response to the 2018 shooting at high school in Parkland, Fla., Democrats decried it as too ineffectual and largely refused to support it unless the governor’s plan included other provisions, such as universal background checks. 

Republicans, meanwhile, largely opposed it over concerns that it infringed on Arizonans’ Second Amendment rights by making it too easy to get a Severe Threat Order of Protection, or STOP order, that would take away their firearms. Senate Republicans watered down the bill, and it died without a hearing in the House of Representatives.

Both sides took similar stances in January of this year, when Ducey again pledged to push for his STOP order plan in his State of the State address. 

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