Deadly shooting spree renews calls for stricter gun laws

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A deadly shooting spree that ended last week with six people dead over a four-day period has renewed calls for state leaders to take action to curb gun violence. 

The suspected killer, Dwight Jones, had a history of domestic violence and mental illness, according to his 2009 divorce records. 

[RELATED: Fountain Hills couple killed in shooting spree were friends with shooter]

Still, Thomas Mangan with the Phoenix Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Jones was legally allowed to possess firearms. 

Federal authorities are still investigating how Jones got his hands on the pistol used in at least three of the slayings.  

But given Jones' history, Rep. Randy Freise, a Democrat from Tucson, said Jones should have never been able to legally purchase a weapon. 

[RELATED: PD: Suspect in multiple murders in Phoenix, Scottsdale committed suicide]

"If we had some of the legislation that we were proposing, those avenues might have been in place to remove those weapons from his possession," Friese said.  

Friese introduced several pieces of gun legislation this year that never received a vote or a committee hearing in the Republican-run Legislature.

[TIMELINE: 72-hour killing spree | MAP: Crime scenes]

Passing gun legislation is easier said than done at the Arizona Capitol. 

Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, failed to pass a bill making it easier to take guns away from people like Jones, who pose a threat to themselves or others. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

The governor has said he will attempt to pass legislation next year if he's re-elected in the fall. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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