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Former Gov. Brewer calls on Ducey to push forward gun reform legislation

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PHOENIX — Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says Gov. Doug Ducey needs to “drive the train” toward passing gun safety legislation.

“He needs to come up with a piece of legislation on paper,” Brewer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Thursday.

“He needs to work, I think, (with) law enforcement, health professionals, advocates for guns, and bring everyone to the table.”

A spokesman for Ducey said in a statement Thursday the governor worked in 2018 to develop a plan for Significant Threat Orders of Protection, which would prohibit certain dangerous individuals from owning guns.

“Support from President Trump and Congressional leaders for ‘red flag’ laws is important, and it’s a common-sense approach to protect public safety,” the spokesman said.

“This is an idea that’s time has come, and we remain hopeful both sides can come together to advance commonsense policies that make a meaningful impact.”

That proposal, however, has failed to gain traction in the Arizona Legislature.

Arizona House Minority Leader Rep. Charlene Fernandez on Wednesday called for a special session of the Legislature to consider 30 bills concerning gun reform.

She either needs Ducey to order the session or a two-thirds vote in each chamber of the Legislature.

Brewer said she agrees that action doesn’t have to wait until next year, and she said Ducey should push for it now.

“Someone needs to drive that train, and I’m saying that I think it should be the governor, and I hope that he does that,” she said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t have special committee during the summertime. We don’t have to wait until January.”

Brewer said solely chalking up mass shootings to mental illness isn’t accurate.

“(The shooters) are aware and smart enough and thinking straight enough to be able to pull it off with a strategic plan that they have thought about in their head, or writing manifestos,” she said.

“This is not a mentally ill person that does all those … and the majority of people that are mentally ill are not violent.”

Brewer said that while people are going to have to take responsibility and report possibly dangerous loved ones, she acknowledges it’s a tough call.

“If my husband went off his rocker, you know, for me to call the police on him, that would be hard, wouldn’t it?” she said.

“Because you’d want to protect him, you’d want to help … and you don’t know what’s going on, so you don’t want to believe it either.”

But ultimately, she said, “people are going to have step up and take responsibility.”

Discussion over gun safety legislation was renewed this week by a string of recent mass shootings.

On July 28, a 19-year-old man killed three people, including two children, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

On Saturday, a 21-year-old man was arrested after killing 22 people and wounding another two dozen at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart.

Then early Sunday morning, a 24-year-old man killed nine people, including his sister, and wounded dozens at a Dayton, Ohio, entertainment district before being fatally shot by law enforcement.

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