PHOENIX – The Arizona chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action released the following statement after the Arizona Senate Judiciary committee voted to advance SB 1300 — a dangerous piece of legislation that would force public colleges and universities to allow hidden, loaded guns on campus. This comes less than two days after a gunman entered Michigan State University and killed three students and wounded five others.
“This is the latest attempt by the gun lobby to put more guns in our classrooms than books,” said Mary Cline, President of the University of Arizona chapter of Students Demand Action. “It’s shameful that just two days after what happened in Michigan, lawmakers are voting to allow guns on college campuses throughout Arizona. Generations of American students have been haunted and traumatized by gun violence, but we will not back down until we are safe in our classrooms and everywhere else.”
Guns are the number one cause of death for college-aged people in the U.S. and campuses across the country continue to grapple with several shootings this year alone. Just in the first month and a half of this year, there have been at least 19 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. While across the country, since 2013, Everytown has identified at least 1044 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. The vast majority of states and colleges prohibit guns from being carried on campus either by law or choice. However, in recent years the gun lobby has pushed legislation to force guns on college campuses against the wishes of most students, staff, and campus law enforcement.
This legislation is just the latest act to weaken gun laws by gun lobby-backed lawmakers who in recent weeks denied a hearing to Christian’s Law, a measure aimed at educating the public on responsibly storing firearms. Arizona families shouldn’t live in fear of the next shooting or gun incident in their neighborhood or nearby College Campus. Every day that passes where lawmakers don’t propose actual life-saving measures, the risk of a tragedy increases.
In an average year in Arizona, 1,155 people die by guns and 919 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Arizona $15.9 billion each year, of which $253.2 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Arizona is available here. To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].