gun control
Senators Sinema, Kelly Announce Gun Control Effort Alongside 10 Republicans

June 15, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Sunday, Arizona’s two Democratic senators announced a sweeping gun control proposal to curb gun ownership of the mentally ill and domestic abusers, as well as expand mental health and school safety programs. 

The proposal hasn’t been introduced as formal legislation, let alone a formal, standalone document. It proposes to prevent court-ruled dangers to the public from obtaining firearms; expand community behavioral health centers, mental health and suicide prevention programs in communities, schools, and telehealth networks, and other similar community support services; add convicted domestic violence abusers and those with domestic violence restraining orders to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); increase funding for K-12 school safety programs and training; increase punishment for evading firearm dealer licensing requirements and for illegal straw purchasing and trafficking; and require juvenile and mental health background checks for firearm buyers under 21 years old. 

The legislation is a bipartisan effort, with 10 senators from each party issuing support. Republican senators who signed on were Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Mitt Romney (R-UT). 

Democrats who signed onto the proposal were Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV).

One independent, Senator Angus King (I-ME), agreed to the proposal. 

This latest gun control proposal comes less than three weeks after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

In a statement, President Joe Biden commended Sinema for the legislation specifically, along with Cornyn and Tillis.

“Obviously, it does not do everything I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” stated Biden. “Each day that passes, more children are killed in this country: the sooner it comes to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives.”

According to the CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) latest data, there were over 45,200 total firearm deaths in 2020. Nearly 24,300 of those deaths were suicides, nearly 19,400 were homicides, just over 600 were legal intervention, and 535 were unintentional. 400 firearm deaths had an undetermined intent. 

A vast majority of the firearm deaths occurred in males: nearly 39,000 versus just over 6,200 females. As for race, about twice the number of white men were killed by firearms in 2020 over black men. 21,000 of the men who died were white, non-Hispanic males; over 12,500 were Black, non-Hispanic males; and just under 4,200 were white Hispanic males. 

Just under 3,900 of the women who died were white, non-Hispanic females; nearly 1,600 were Black, non-Hispanic females; and over 500 were white Hispanic females.

Blue counties accounted for the top ten highest firearm death rates of all counties in the country. They’ve been ranked below from the greatest to least number of homicides.

  • Cook County, Illinois: 82 percent were homicides, or 862 out of 1040 deaths; Biden won with over 74 percent of the vote in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Los Angeles County, California: over 62 percent, or 524 of 837 deaths; Biden won with 71 percent of the vote.
  • Harris County, Texas: over 61 percent were homicides, or 475 of 773 deaths; Biden won with over 56 percent of the vote. 
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: over 84 percent were homicides, or 453 of 538 deaths; Biden won with over 81 percent of the vote. 
  • Wayne County, Michigan: over 75 percent were homicides, or 344 of 458 deaths; Biden won with over 68 percent of the vote.
  • Dallas County, Texas: nearly 61 percent were homicides, or 251 of 412 deaths; Biden won with over 65 percent of the vote.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: over 35 percent were homicides, or 249 of 702 deaths; Biden won with over 50 percent of the vote.
  • Marion County, Indiana: 69 percent were homicides, or 219 of 317 deaths; Biden won with nearly 64 percent of the vote.
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida: 64 percent were homicides, or 208 of 325 deaths; Biden won with over 53 percent of the vote.
  • Tarrant County, Texas: over 45 percent were homicides, or 140 of 309 deaths; Biden won with over 49 percent of the vote. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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