This morning, the world was greeted with tragic news of another school shooting – this time from right here in New Mexico. Details are still coming in as of the time of this post, but while we wait for answers we are all joining together in support of the innocent victims.
Sadly, this is not the first gun tragedy in New Mexico and we found some startling facts (below the break) about gun violence in New Mexico. You won’t believe what we found.
New Mexico is no stranger to gun violence.
Among the most notable New Mexico gun violence incidents of recent years:
- Four law enforcement officers were shot, one seriously, when a subject with a history of mental illness ambushed an Albuquerque Police officer with an assault rifle, stole the officer’s vehicle and led police and sheriff’s deputies on a miles-long chase in October 2013.
- An Albuquerque teen killed his parents and 3 children in their home in January 2012.
- Robert Reza killed a former lover and her co-worker before killing himself at the Emcore corporation in Albuquerque in July 2010.
- Albuquerque Police Officers Michael Smith and Richard King were gunned down in August 2005 by a man with a long history of mental health problems as they tried to serve him with a mental health court order.
- A 13-year old girl was shot in a Deming, NM school in 1999 when a classmate’s attempt to commit suicide went horribly wrong.
- Seven people were shot by robbers at a Las Cruces bowling alley in 1990.
Last year, New Mexico’s House of Representatives passed a gun show loophole bill, a critical step in keeping guns out of the hands of bad people. However, pro-NRA Senators used procedural maneuvers to slow it down in committees and on the floor, prohibiting the full Senate from taking a vote.
New Mexico’s gun-death rate is 40 percent higher than the national average.
• New Mexico is the 10th-worst state for gun deaths:
- There were 14.6 gun deaths for every 100,000 people in the state in 2010. That’s 40 percent higher than the national average of 10.3 gun deaths for every 100,000 people.
- New Mexicans are more likely to die from gun violence than soldiers at war. From 2001 through 2010, 2,932 people were killed by guns in New Mexico. That is more than 70 percent more than the number of U.S. combat deaths in the Afghanistan war.
Women and children are at a higher risk of becoming homicide victims in New Mexico than in almost all other states.
• Women are at an increased risk of domestic violence: In 2010 New Mexico had the seventh-highest rate of women being killed by men—the majority of which occur with a firearm.
• Children ages 0–19 are killed by guns at a rate almost 60 percent higher than the national average and are murdered by guns at almost 40 percent above the national average. In 2010 New Mexico ranked sixth and seventh in these measures, respectively.
• The Daily Beast listed New Mexico as the sixth “deadliest gun state” in the United States in 2011 because of its combination of permissive gun laws and a high rate of gun deaths.
• The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave New Mexico an “F,” ranking it 40th out of 50 states for having enacted “few” gun-violence prevention laws.
Weak laws make New Mexico a favorite state for gun traffickers to purchase guns.
• In 2009 New Mexico’s “crime-gun exports”—guns later recovered in crimes in other states that were originally sold in New Mexico—were exported from the state at a rate of 54 percent above the national average. This is a key marker of gun trafficking.
“Fatal Gap”: New Mexico’s failure to report mental health records to NICS permits prohibited purchasers to buy firearms without impediment.
- 143,419 background checks were performed in New Mexico in 2012 against an incomplete database [2012, Fatal Gaps Report, MAIG]
New Mexico currently only submits some records as a matter of practice, not policy or law, by AOC. Creating a statutory system provides NM with access to federal dollars to maintain the system and keeps us safer.