Arizona politicians react to gun control bill passing US House

Jun 8, 2022, 6:19 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: An attendee holds a sign calling for a ban on assault weapons during the ...
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: An attendee holds a sign calling for a ban on assault weapons during the Moms Demand Action Gun Violence Rally on June 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. Politicians and activists continued their push for additional gun safety legislation following a series of deadly mass shootings in the U.S. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona politicians in the U.S. House reacted Wednesday after a wide-ranging gun control bill passed mostly along party lines.

The bill, which is in response to the recent deadly mass shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, raises the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle to 21 years old and prohibits the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds among other regulations.

“It is unconscionable that our nation has allowed the epidemic of gun violence to exist for this long,” Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego said in a statement. “House Democrats will not wait around, and today we approved meaningful solutions to put an end to these shootings.”

Republican Rep. Andy Biggs spoke on the House floor and said the answer to gun violence cannot be “restricting America’s right to protect themselves.”

“You can harden schools and make them work, you can arm guards and make them work and make children safer,” Biggs said.

“Every day, Americans use guns to protect themselves and their families, this bill will make it harder for Americans to do this. That is an inconvenient fact that my colleagues across the aisle simply can’t and choose not to address.”

Democratic Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva in a statement said families and victims are owed real action on gun safety policies.

“We cannot accept the status quo and must wholly reject the notion that mass shootings are the cost of living in a free society,” Grijalva said. “Living in a free society means we should be free to live our lives without fear of our children being gunned down in a classroom or a supermarket.”

Grijalva added he believes Congress should go further and reinstate a ban on assault weapons, saying “there is no justifiable reason to have weapons meant for war roaming our communities.”

Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko in various tweets criticized the bill, saying Democrats are using gun control to “treat law-abiding citizens as criminals.”

“It is unfathomable that Democrats are discussing disarming the American people while crime is soaring across the country,” Lesko tweeted.

Lesko in another tweet said Republicans are for school safety, not for taking away law-abiding citizens’ ability to defend themselves and said the two parties must work together to find real solutions that keep kids safe from violence.

Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in a series of tweets said she voted to take action after hearing calls from the community.

“Our children live in fear, wondering if their classroom will be next. But, it doesn’t have to be this way,” Kirkpatrick tweeted. “It’s time to enact sensible policies that will reduce gun violence #ProtectingOurKidsAct does just that.”

The legislation is unlikely to pass the U.S. Senate as support would be needed from 10 Republicans and negotiations are focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Arizona politicians react to gun control bill passing US House