by | May 31, 2023 | Feature, Newsletters

On May 17, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, in response to the Farmington mass shooting, said she would again pursue an assault weapon ban and age restrictions for purchasing firearms. Both proposals were introduced during the 2023 NM legislative session and failed to clear committees in the Senate and House and failed to reach her desk in this year’s 60-day legislative session.

New Mexico’s firearm fatality rate is among the nation’s highest. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, there were a total of 562 state residents who died in 2021 due to firearm-related injuries. This figure is up significantly from the 481 firearm-related deaths in 2020. Of the 562 state residents who died in 2021 due to firearms, 319 cases, were classified as suicides and 243 were classified as homicides. In New Mexico, the rate of 14.9 firearm-related deaths per every 100,000 residents in 2010 nearly doubled over the last decade and there were 23 such deaths for every 100,000 residents in 2020.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said she would keep pursuing ways to reduce gun violence in New Mexico. She said the issue is complex and does not have a quick-fix solution.

The Governor said this:
“Gun violence is an intolerable scourge. What happens to these families is unfair, unthinkable and unimaginable. And this entire community, like so many communities across the state and in America, are just grieving, thinking about what the next gun violence safety measure is. Let your policymakers know what you think might have been missed in the work that we’re doing and know that increasing the age is back. An assault on a ban on assault weapons, which doesn’t have universal support in many states, including this one. I am putting it on the table. … I want to be able to go to Farmington and say this will never happen again. I don’t know of a tool that prevents all tragedies. … If there was one thing that would cure it, it would already be done.”

The governor said the state would announce a new initiative aimed at curbing gun trafficking. She also said she did not plan to call a special legislative session that would result in partisan “finger-pointing.” However, the Governor left the door open to such action if lawmakers can reach a consensus on contentious crime and gun-related proposals.

The Governor said this:
“I would call a special session … if we could pass something that could be implemented in a timely manner.”

Excerpted from Blog of Pete Dinelli 5/19/2023

Translate »