Report: More Than Half of People Who Shot and Killed New Mexico Law Enforcement Officers Were Likely Prohibited From Possessing Guns (but no one checked)

New Mexico appears to be on the brink of becoming the next state in the country to pass responsible background check requirements for gun sales. Now, a new report by one group supporting the effort shows that as many as half of the persons who killed a New Mexico law enforcement officer since 1987 shouldn’t have been able to own a gun in the first place – but there were no laws on the books requiring anyone to check. From Everytown.org:

New Mexico Background Check Bills, Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50, Slated for Consideration During 2017 Legislative Session, Seek to Protect Law Enforcement by Preventing Convicted Felons and Other Dangerous People from Getting Guns; Research Shows Background Checks Save Officers’ Lives

New Everytown Polling Reveals 87 Percent of New Mexicans Support Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales, Including 84 Percent of Gun Owners

NEW YORK – A new analysis released today by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund reveals that more than half of the people who shot and killed a New Mexico law enforcement officer in the line of duty over the past 30 years – from January 1987 to December 2016 – were likely barred by state or federal law from buying or possessing firearms at the time of the incident. This legislative session, New Mexico lawmakers will be voting on Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50 – legislation that will close the background check loophole in New Mexico and require criminal background checks for all gun sales to make the state safer for law enforcement officers and all New Mexicans. “Every day, law enforcement works their hardest to protect our fellow New Mexicans, but our current laws leave those on the front lines – and in our communities – in vulnerable positions.

Progressives organize huge turnout as House Committee passes background check bill for NM

After new legislation requiring background checks on gun transfers passed the Senate Public Affairs committee earlier this week, the house companion bill, HB 50, today also cleared its initial hurdle before the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. A combined effort between Moms Demand Action, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and Progress Now NM brought out over 100 supporters of the legislation, many who shared personal stories as they testified in favor of the legislation. After over three hours of testimony and debate the bill passed the committee on a vote of 3 to 1 (votes below). It will now move on to the House Judiciary Committee. Join our Gun Violence Prevention Action List to receive updates as the bill moves forward.

New Gun Transfer Background Check Bill Passes Key Committee

Background check legislation cleared a first (and important) hurdle today.  After almost two hours of testimony and debate, the State Senate Public Affairs Committee passed the bill 5-3 and sent it forward with momentum to the Judiciary Committee. More than thirty ProgressNowNM advocates appeared alongside dozens of other New Mexico gun violence victims, survivors and activists including many organized by Moms Demand Action NM and New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. Gun violence prevention legislation failed in the Senate in previous years, in part over concerns over how transfers between family members could be protected.  Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Española) worked with State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos) to write this year’s bill to require checks between transfers for gun sales, while accommodating some of those earlier concerns.

SIGN UP: State Leg to take up background checks for gun sales (and this year it could pass)

In the fight against gun violence in New Mexico, at least one significant piece of legislation filed this year aimed specifically at keeping guns out of the wrong hands. With a new Democratic majority in both houses of the State Legislature and the largest progressive caucus in state history, supporters of common-sense gun violence prevention see this as the year to pass background check legislation. While NRA-backed legislators managed to delay and kill similar legislation in previous years, background check bills have passed in states around the country. This year, State Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard along with State Senate Maj. LeaderPeter Wirth and Sen. Richard Martinez sponsored legislation to keep New Mexicans safer by requiring background checks for gun sales.

A Recap – Progressive Action Summit 2017

Red River, and Raton, and Farmington, and Hobbs, oh my! People came from near and far on January 7th, for ProgressNow NM’s first ever, Progressive Action Summit. The Summit was a jam packed day of exactly that – action. If you weren’t able to be with us, you might be wondering what happened:

22 Community Organizations: delivered presentations, workshops or panels, concerning and or addressing current and or proposed legislation, while gathering awareness and support around their issue. 22 Elected Officials: gave time out of their day to participate, present, engage with and respond to citizens and leaders from our communities.

How Artists Are Responding – Artists’ Town Hall EVENT November 14th

Artist’s Respond: Some of Albuquerque’s best are set to take the stage November 14th, 7:00-8:30pm, as a community approaches the creative process, and how it is used to process trauma and violence. DETAILS HERE
WHY ART? “I believe that we learn more about ourselves when we observe and appreciate the truths of another person’s art. I also believe that we learn the most about ourselves as artists when we are vulnerable enough to share our truths with an audience of strangers. Together, we all grow and become more connected,” says Ebony Isis Booth, featured artist at Central Features’ November 14th “Artists’ Town Hall.”

 

“I think that art and activism are inextricably linked.

EVENT: Central Features Set to Host “Artists’ Town Hall” Regarding Responses to Violence and Trauma

“I opened Central Features Contemporary Art in Sept 2014 because I wanted my investment in ABQ to combine art and business, and I wanted to help promote artists whose work I respect and admire,” said Nancy Zastudil. Nancy is a local gallery/small business owner, who is hosting a “town hall” style event later this month. Monday Nov. 14, 7pm [Details]
The event focuses on issues and emotions that surround  violence and trauma in our communities and individual lives. Not only their presence, but the event serves to provide a space for a conversation, about our responses to violence and trauma, alike.

Officer Webster’s shooter bought the gun in a parking lot from a guy on the internet. Background check bills would have prevented that sale.

Embedded in reports from the Federal firearms trial of Davon Lyman, the convicted felon accused of shooting Albuquerque Police Officer Daniel Webster last year, were new details surrounding how Lyman acquired the gun used to kill that officer: the convicted felon bought the gun in a parking lot from someone he had never met, without a background check that would have prevented the sale to a convicted felon. At the end of the Albuquerque Journal’s report from the courtroom was a summary of testimony from a local man who sold Lymon the gun:

Gun seller
Tuesday’s witnesses included the man who said he sold Lymon the Taurus pistol police said fired the shots that killed Webster. He recounted talking to Lymon on the phone before agreeing to meet him in a Wienerschnitzel parking lot on Juan Tabo, where the sale took place. [read more from the ABQ Journal]

Another witness, Savannah Garcia, a 17-year-old woman who was riding on the back of Lymon’s motorcycle the night of the fateful traffic stop put Lymon at the scene and identified him as the man who pulled the trigger on the gun that led to Webster’s death. Lymon recently waived his right to a jury trial.

The NRA had a breakfast for NM candidates; What they said when they thought no one was listening is amazing

Last Saturday I attended a National Rifle Association breakfast for local Republican legislative candidates. An NRA lobbyist jetted in to tell a few lies and fire up the troops. The NRA desperately wants Republicans to control our Legislature, and will put up big bucks to keep making big bucks on gun sales. When the lobbyist mentioned that Representative Rick Little was on the Safety & Civil Affairs Committee, “one of the places a good gun bill or a bad gun bill will go,” Little quickly added “and get killed.” A pocket-sized NRA handout made clear there are no good gun bills – except one that broadens the concealed-carry law or cuts the prices for licenses.  

The arguments against well-crafted gun laws – and I grant that not all legislation is well-crafted – are “slippery slope”: if you let the government require background checks or try to prevent terrorists from having guns, soon they’ll be knocking on your door to confiscate your gun.

Las Cruces City Council passes background checks resolution. Which city will be next?

With dozens of local voters on hand to watch, the Las Cruces City Council voted yes Tuesday afternoon on a resolution that urges state lawmakers to pass comprehensive background checks on all firearm purchases within the state during the 2017 legislative session! Everytown for Gun Safety and ProgressNow NM teamed up to alert and turnout Las Cruces residents for the Council Meeting. Meanwhile, the NRA made defeating the Las Cruces resolution their national call-to-action on Independence Day:

After featuring it on the front page of their action page, NRA members from around the country inundated City Councilors with (mostly) out-of-state emails and calls in a well-worn tactic to tie up means for local constituents to show their support for similar legislation. From KRWG News:
Las Cruces City Council passed a resolution urging the State Legislature to pass legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for all gun sales in New Mexico by a vote of 5 to 1 with one abstaining. Many people packed the Council Chambers for the debate on gun legislation.