Arizona House Minority Leader Calls For Special Session On Gun Violence

Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 11:13am
Updated: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 2:11pm
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Mark Brodie/KJZZ
Arizona House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez (D-Yuma).

The shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have again left the country searching for solutions to widespread violence.

Here in Arizona, House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez (D-Yuma) wants the state Legislature to tackle the issue despite resistance from her Repbulican colleagues. She’s calling for a special session to consider gun-control measures her fellow Democrats have proposed for years, including universal background checks and limits on high-capacity magazines. But those proposals have largely gone ignored at the Republican-controlled Legislature.

And therein lies the greatest obstacle standing in Fernandez’s way: her Republican counterparts in both the House and the Senate have so far expressed no interest in calling their members back to the Capitol, nor has Gov. Doug Ducey made a call for them to do so.

Rep. Fernandez joined The Show to outline her hopes for a special session.

However, fellow Democrat Sen. David Bradley of Tucson expects success will depend on coordinated bipartisan support.

"The key would be the governor saying very clearly that this is a No. 1 priority of his and convening the leadership of both sides to hammer something out. But it's got to come from him over his party," he said.

Ducey recently vowed to re-energize his own gun safety plan, which failed in its first proposal last year.

The House speaker and Senate president, who are both Republican, doubt a special session will help build bipartisan support without first discussing what is at the root of gun violence.

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