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Gun Safety is Already Making Noise in New Mexico. Here are the Bills Lawmakers Should Consider this Legislative Session.

New Mexico lawmakers returned this week to Sante Fe for a new legislative session where they’ll have new opportunities to pass common-sense gun safety laws, starting with extreme risk legislation that would empower immediate family members and law enforcement officers to petition a court to temporarily keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk of harming themselves or others. New Mexico Moms Demand Action volunteers will also be advocating for funding toward community-driven violence intervention programs. 

Here’s more on what volunteers with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action will advocate for this session:

An Extreme Risk Protection Order Law

  • On January 8, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she would include gun safety legislation in her 2020 legislative agenda, which could pave the way for an extreme risk law in New Mexico. Under an extreme risk law, family and law enforcement would be able to petition a court for an extreme risk protection order to temporarily remove guns from a person in crisis. Seventeen states and Washington, D.C. have already enacted extreme risk laws, and 12 of these laws have been passed since the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018.  
  • Extreme risk laws save lives by creating ways to act before warning signs escalate into tragedies. These laws have already prevented tragedies in states across the country. You can find stories of how extreme risk laws have been used in other states here.  Learn more about extreme risk laws here.
  • Extreme risk laws have been shown to be an effective tool in reducing the risk of firearm suicide.  New Mexico has the seventh-highest rate of gun suicide in the country. Every year, nearly 250 people die by gun suicide in New Mexico, with an average of 35 hours between gun suicide deaths. In a moment of crisis, access to a gun can be the difference between life and death: about 90 percent of suicide attempts using a gun end in death, compared to four percent of suicide attempts that do not involve a firearm.

Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Programs

  • Community-based programs apply a localized approach to gun violence prevention that is well-suited to address gun violence in the states’ hardest-hit neighborhoods. These programs identify individuals who are at the highest risk of shooting or being shot, and they work to reduce violence through targeted interventions. 
  • Research on programs in states like California continues to show the promise of holistic, community-based programs in preventing gun violence. Supporting programs like these in New Mexico will help interrupt and prevent daily gun violence in communities with the highest need. 

In 2019, New Mexico celebrated a gun sense victory when Gov. Grisham signed legislation to require a background check on every gun sale in the state. 

Statistics about gun violence in New Mexico are available here, and information on how New Mexico’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here

If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from New Mexico Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.