gun regulation activist holding a sign

A protester in Tucson, Arizona holds a sign in front of Roskruge Bilingual Middle School.

Yesterday in Tucson, AZ at 10:00 a.m. at 1010 E. 10th Street, a protest got on a roll. In triple digit heat, protestors walked with their signs from the gathering location to the bus stop in front of Roskruge Bilingual Middle School, about a mile away. There, a bus was boarded to head to the Ronstadt Transit Center in downtown Tucson, where the protest ended.

Organized by Jocelyn Strauss, Tucson chapter president of Moms Demand Action, the protest was a response to an incident in June in which a man with an AR-15 rode a Tucson Sun Tran bus. There were six adults present at the protest and, including the author of this article, five members of the press. Along with the protestors were a few children, one in a stroller, which highlights the group’s name for these events: “stroller jams.”

The man with the AR-15 in June did not harm, threaten, or harass, anyone. He was within his rights, according to Arizona law. Arizona is a constitutional open-carry state. A permit is no longer required to carry concealed, and Arizona has long been a no-permit open-carry state.

While the man with the AR-15 was within his rights, several pro-firearm individuals have raised concern over the etiquette of carrying the weapon as the young man did. In previous interviews, Tommy Rompel, the owner of Tucson’s Black Weapons Armory, was less concerned with the gun and more concerned about how the man was behaving. State law concurs with Mr. Rompel, and prohibits reckless handling of weapons.

However, it is not really the etiquette of the situation that concerns Ms. Strauss. Regardless of behavior, she would prefer that guns of all kinds be banned on buses. The goal of Ms. Strauss and her group is to get Arizona state law changed so Tucson can ban guns on buses. As it stands, Tucson can’t do this because the bus service provider, Sun Tran, is contracted with the state, not the city.

Ms. Strauss says, “What we do want, and what the second amendment calls for, is regulation…. If more and more people are trying to show off their rights there is more likelihood to be an incident.”

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