Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says his push for new school safety legislation will include a focus on gun sale background checks, but he appeared opposed to closing a loophole that allows private sales at gun shows and in person without such a check.
The Republican governor told reporters during a brief availability Monday that he is still gathering information on how to boost school safety and preparing a formal proposal. But his signing of legislation in the past two years barring state and local governments from requiring checks on private transactions may tie his hands.
Instead, he implied he's focused on ensuring that local convictions make their way into state and federal crime databases.
His comments came the same day that student activists and Democratic Arizona lawmakers called on Ducey and the Republican-controlled Legislature to act on stalled legislation designed to curb gun violence.
Those who attended Monday's news conference at the state Capitol include a student organizer of the planned March 24 "March for Our Lives" rally in Phoenix. High School junior Jordan Harb of Mesa says Republicans who control the state Legislature have failed to heed the warnings from students and take action to protect them from violence.
The march was sparked by the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida that killed 17 students and staff. Harb says students planned to walk out of school on Wednesday.
Four Democratic gun bills haven't received hearings during this year's legislation session. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is working on school safety proposals but has not sought action on the stalled bills.