Sheriff Paul Penzone calls gun control bill a ‘kick-the-can-down-the-road moment’
PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said Thursday he doesn’t expect anything to come of the new U.S. House gun control bill, but he sees value in pieces of the legislation.
“It’s not going to pass, we know that. So, it’s just going be another kick-the-can-down-the-road moment,” Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
“But I do think we have to look at age, we have to look at the types of firearms that we’re putting in the hands of young adults and people that are dangerous to us.”
The gun control bill passed Wednesday in response to recent mass shootings in New York and Texas would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.
On Thursday, the House approved a bill that would allow families, police and others to ask federal courts to order the removal of firearms from people who are believed to be at extreme risk of harming themselves or others.
Neither bill stands much chance of getting through the Senate, which is pursuing gun-related negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks.
Penzone said he gets “aggravated a little bit when legislators rush to try to create things that they think are quick solutions to complex problems” and thinks the nation as a whole needs to reassess its relationship to firearms.
“We have all these issues that contribute to the problem — and yes, guns and accessibility to guns that can do mass devastation is one of them — but we don’t talk about in a holistic fashion,” he said.
“So, this nation has to get their head around who we want to be. Do we want to be a safe nation where we look at our children’s safety and that of our families first? Or do we want to be ones where we worship firearms to the detriment of the loss of children, and that’s unacceptable.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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