Guide to the Issues: Gun Violence in New Mexico

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Guide to the Issues: Gun Violence

This report is part of our multi-part 2014 Citizen’s Guide to the Issues and ALEC in New Mexico.   Learn more about the report or jump to other sections with the links below.

Read the full guide with more issues here

Guide to the Issues: Status of Women in New Mexico
Guide to the Issues: Minimum Wage & Income Inequality
Guide to the Issues: Driver’s License Policy
Guide to the Issues: ALEC IN NEW MEXICO
Guide to the Issues: ALEC-member corporate lobbyists in New Mexico
Guide to the Issues: ALEC Dollars in the Roundhouse

New Mexico’s gun-death rate is 40 percent higher than the national average.Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.29.40 AM

• 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.
  • 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.

Sources and Resources: Center for American Progress, ProgressNowNM, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New Mexicans for Gun Safety