Photo by Quintin Bingham
Rep. Mitzi Epstein, District 18, talking with Moms Demand Action members, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Phoenix.
By Quintin Bingham
The wave of gun control advocacy that has been sweeping the nation has yet to ebb in Arizona as the local chapter of Moms Demand Action add their voices to the conversation as well. Members of the organization gathered at the capitol building in Phoenix on Tuesday to pressure lawmakers for additional regulations to be placed on firearms.
Kathleen Noble, a Moms Demand Action member, said that Moms Demand Action has multiple goals it wants to accomplish in Arizona. They want legislators to adopt a bill that the organization has coined as the “Red Flag Law,” which would allow courts to temporarily cease a person’s access to firearms at the request of family or law enforcement if there is evidence that the individual poses a threat to themselves or others.
Furthermore, they are not fully satisfied with Gov. Doug Ducey’s gun control plan and wish to see a more “strict” stance taken. However, for Noble, the topic hits close to home and she ended up becoming a staunch advocate herself.
Noble, became more involved in the issue after her best friend was shot and injured during the shooting that wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords.
After the scare with her friend, Noble became more involved and eventually assumed leadership of the Be Smart campaign in Arizona, an organization that aims at preventing suicides and “unintentional shootings” by giving informational presentations throughout the East Valley, as well as additional lectures given in Tucson and Tempe.
Rep. Mitzi Epstein, District 18 (Representing parts of Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe), values the hard work of the various gun advocacy groups but is more focused on shutting down Arizona’s “loopholes” at gun shows where people can purchase guns in the state of Arizona with minimal to no screening.
“In order to keep people safe, not just in schools, but in their communities,” said Epstein. “We really need comprehensive background checks.”
The “gun show loophole,” a loophole that allows the private sellers of firearms to have less strict screening requirements, has been allowed to persist in Arizona by legislators in the past.
Epstein clarified that she does not want to take away the citizen’s right to own a gun, but thinks it is about time that the closing of the loophole became a top priority.
“We want a background check on every gun sale,” Epstein said.
Brianna Westbrook, Arizona State House candidate for District 22, agrees and said that gun control is not a radical idea, but rather “Common Sense.”