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AZ COALITION TO END SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE’S STATEMENT ON THE IMPACT IN ARIZONA OF UNITED STATES vs. RAHIMI DECISION REGARDING FIREARM ACCESS
PHOENIX, February 6, 2023 – The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) and anti-violence advocates across Arizona are alarmed by the precedence that Judge Wilson’s opinion on United States v. Rahimi sets for the safety of domestic violence victims and all Americans. This decision struck down 30 years of federal law prohibiting those under a protective order for domestic violence from possessing firearms. This radical ruling puts domestic violence victims and their communities in grave danger. Research has demonstrated time and again the devastating threat to safety when domestic violence and firearms intersect – it creates a proven lethal mix for victims, law enforcement, and communities at large.
Arizona’s limited firearms prohibitions for domestic violence currently remain in place, despite this ruling. Arizona only prohibits possession during probation for domestic violence and courts can prohibit defendants from possessing a firearm while issuing a final domestic violence Order of Protection. Unless on probation or subject to an Order of Protection, individuals that have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors can continue to access firearms.
House Bill 2179 will correct this oversight for Arizona and prohibits those convicted of domestic violence offences from possessing firearms. When laws requiring firearms be turned in are implemented, we see a 16 percent reduction in domestic violence homicides. We can make a difference and save lives now by supporting HB 2179.
Hundreds of Arizonans have been shot and killed by their intimate partner over the last several years. A person who causes harm is five times more likely to kill their partner when they have access to a firearm. In 2022 alone, 76% of domestic violence fatalities were committed with a firearm. One hundred percent of law enforcement and bystanders killed in 2022 domestic violence homicides incidents in Arizona were killed by a perpetrator with a firearm.
ACESDV will not lose sight of the survivors whose lives are at stake. Our path is set – we re-double our efforts to create a safer Arizona by supporting HB 2179 and through direct services, prevention programs and policy. Please register your support for HB 2179 by utilizing the Arizona Legislature’s online Request to Speak system and visit acesdv.org to join us in securing safety for survivors.
About the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) works to dismantle oppression and promote equity among all people, focusing on increasing public awareness about sexual and domestic violence and enhancing safety and services for survivors. ACESDV was originally founded as the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1980, so that concerned citizens and professionals could unite in a statewide organization to end domestic violence. In 2013, the coalition became the designated dual coalition to address both sexual and domestic violence in Arizona, thus becoming the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. ACESDV provides training and technical assistance to responders, service providers, and community members, engages in public policy advocacy and public awareness initiatives, and provides direct services through the Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Helpline and online chat. To learn more visit www.acesdv.org
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Jenna Panas, (817) 939-1577