As the New Mexico legislature returns to Santa Fe for the start of the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers will again have the opportunity to pass common-sense gun safety bills. Gun violence prevention is more important than ever in the new year as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence, and after a year of increased gun sales, continued police violence, increased risk of suicide and domestic violence, and an increase in city gun violence.
Top priorities for lawmakers should be legislation to regulate “ghost guns,” encourage responsible gun ownership with secure storage measures, and prevent police violence and create police accountability.
What to know about gun violence in New Mexico:
- New Mexico has the seventh highest rate of gun deaths in the country. On average, 415 people are shot and killed with a gun every year. The rate of gun deaths in New Mexico increased 49% in the last decade, compared to an 18% increase nationwide.
- An average of 136 people in New Mexico die by gun homicide every year; 65% of all homicides in New Mexico involve a gun. In the last decade, gun homicide increased 89%, compared to an 26% increase nationwide. New Mexico has the highest rate of gun deaths among Hispanic people. And, Black people in New Mexico are four times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people.
- Mapping Police Violence shows that 164 people have been shot and killed by police between 2013 and 2020 in New Mexico and that, nationally, 98% of killings by police between 2013-2020 have not resulted in an officer being charged.
- New Mexico has the fifth highest rate of gun suicide deaths in the country — with nearly 65% of all gun deaths as suicides. Also, the rate of gun suicide in the state increased 30% in the last decade, compared to a 12% increase nationwide.
If you are interested in talking to a New Mexico Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteer about their priorities, please don’t hesitate to reach out.