During the 2020 State Committee of the Republican Party of Arizona meeting, protesters interrupted Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s address to show their opposition to his proposed “red flag” law for gun owners.
On Saturday morning, over 600 state committee members gathered in central Phoenix to discuss official party business.
Ducey’s speech had barely started when he was forced to pause as dozens of protesters stood and chanted “No red flags.”
Many of the protesters also held signs that read, “No Red Flag Law, Do NOT CA AND/OR VA OUR ARIZONA” — referring to “red flag” laws in place in California and advancing in Virginia.
The protesters’ chants soon overpowered the room.
Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward only allowed the disruption to last for a few seconds before she walked on stage and called the room to order.
Once the protesters fell silent, Ducey addressed their concerns.
“I think it’s important that everyone standing up understands that Arizona is the number one pro-Second Amendment state in the nation,” he said. “And that’s not going to change.”
The controversial bill was first introduced in 2018 as a part of Gov. Ducey’s Safe Arizona Schools Plan which was drafted after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.
With the intention of preventing mass shootings in Arizona schools, the “red flag” law would give the government the right to take away guns away from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or to others by a judge.
“In 5 out of 5 of the most deadly school shootings, the killers displayed warning signs of being a potential threat to themselves or others. This stunning fact illustrates the need for a legal tool to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” Ducey’s plan states.
Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato told The Arizona Republic the plan is “more aggressive than what you’ve seen in other states.”
“There’s no one law, no two laws, no basket of laws that can prevent all this,” he told KTAR in an Aug. 12 interview. “What we want to do is minimize it everywhere we can to prevent it from happening.”
President Donald Trump expressed similar convictions.
In August, after the Dayton and El Paso shootings, he tweeted, “Guns should not be placed in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people,” and later added that “Common sense things can be done.”
….mentally ill or deranged people. I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
Others in the country, however, are concerned that these “common sense” laws will create a slippery slope that could potentially put Second Amendment rights in jeopardy.
“Do not pass any laws infringing on our 2A. When you leave office in 2024, they will take that legislation 100 more miles,” former police officer Brandon Tatum tweeted. “And take all our guns!!”
Do not pass any laws infringing on our 2A
When you leave office in 2024, they will take that legislation 100 more miles
And take all our guns!!
— Brandon Tatum (@TheOfficerTatum) August 9, 2019
Recently, tension has been rising across the country in regards to “red flag” laws and their potential infringement on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
Senate Democrats made several amendments to the bill to address due process concerns, including a change to how the search warrants work.
Republicans still don’t like it, saying it could lead to armed standoffs and bloodshedhttps://t.co/KqEkv5kFKN
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) January 22, 2020
On Monday, an estimated 22,000 pro-Second Amendment demonstrators gathered at the Virginia state Capitol in Richmond while lawmakers debated a potential “red flag” law that was approved by the state Senate on Wednesday.
Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, who was among the GOP officials speaking at Saturday’s meeting in Phoenix, said Republicans should not victimize Americans or threaten to take away guns, but instead should promote empowerment among assault victims.
“Our party ought to be about empowerment, not victimization,” Gosar said.
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