Activists protest gun bills being debated at the State Capitol - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Activists protest gun bills being debated at the State Capitol

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Dozens of moms, lawmakers, and activists gathered at the Arizona State Capitol Wednesday demanding action against a handful of gun bills being debated in the House and Senate.

"We have come to the State Capitol to deliver a very clear and very important message to lawmakers; stop weakening our gun laws," said Hildy Saizow.

The president of Arizonans for Gun Safety was met with cheers as she kicked off a day of action to end gun violence.

Several groups who support tougher gun laws gathered to deliver speeches and meet with lawmakers.

"As moms, we may not be policy experts, but we have a voice, and we are raising it, and we are continuing to raise it," said Jocelyn Strauss.

The groups are upset about a handful of proposed gun bills.

One would allow gun owners with concealed carry permits to take their firearms into public buildings. Another will punish cities and counties if they pass gun bills that are stricter than state law.

"It's not a new law; it is just strengthening the existing law," said Rep. Steve Smith who is the author of HB2517.

He says Arizona has a law on the books which makes it illegal for citieis to pass laws that don't align with state statutes.

"All this bill does is it now puts teeth in the preemption laws that we do have," said Smith.

At the rally, a former aide to congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was also wounded in the Tucson shooting said it's time to stop being silent about gun violence.

"I want you to talk to everyone to the person at the Starbucks, to the person that's changing your tire, to your child's teacher, talk to everyone," said Pam Simon.

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