Millions March For Our Lives nationwide – New Mexico turns out for gun safety

Rallies associated with the March For Our Lives movement organized by students affected by gun violence may have surpassed already record-setting rallies that have been happening ever since the inauguration of Donald Trump. Perhaps even more important and impressive is that it is likely one of the largest collective movements of young people since the iconic anti-war protests of the Vietnam era. 

New Mexicans joined by the thousands across the state, with especially large turnouts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In Las Cruces where students were out of school for spring break, an impromptu rally was still organized after the beginning of the week saw armed pro-gun advocates take over a city council meeting specifically to derail a proposed resolution on school safety as it relates to firearms. Even Silver City students held a rally that was well attended. 

Some students from Aztec High School were able to travel to Washington DC and participate in the national rally as well as speak with Senator Martin Heinrich about gun safety. Heinrich has publically denounced the National Rifle Association and called for better and smarter gun regulations and even written an Op-Ed piece about his former relationship with the NRA. While the NRA hasn’t rated me for this election yet, if my work in the Senate to pass gun violence reform hasn’t earned me an F rating, I suspect this post will. And that’s fine by me. -Sen. Martin Heinrich
New Mexico remains a state with relatively few gun laws on the books overall.

Armed protestors pressure Las Cruces City Council to drop School Safety resolution

On Monday, armed, pro-gun activists loosely organized by Republican and outspoken pro-gun candidates in Doña Ana County amassed at the Las Cruces City Hall to protest “A Resolution to Better Ensure the Safety of Students in Las Cruces Schools.” The protest started on the road in front of City Hall with folks carrying AR-15s and handguns, holding signs, and waving variations of the Gadsden Flag, the infamous coiled snake with the phrase “Don’t tread on me.” Most of those protestors then entered City Hall for the regular meeting and took up menacing positions around the back of the chamber with their weapons in full view of anyone coming and going. There were additional seats, added in the lobby of City Hall, that were also filled with armed supporters so that anyone from the public who may have been coming to pay a utility bill or apply for a business license was welcomed by a phalanx of people with rifles and handguns. At least two candidates who are running in November were a part of the protest and took some credit for organizing it.

One day after making it easier for people to cross state lines with guns, Pearce offers more “prayers” for gun violence victims

Once again New Mexicans are hurting in the wake of a terrifying school shooting in Aztec earlier today. And while there are some who will undoubtedly say it’s “too early to politize this issue,” the fact of the matter is that when politicians make statements that are out of line with their values it must be addressed. Predictably, Republican Congressman (and gubernatorial candidate) Steve Pearce took to Twitter to express that he was “praying” for those affected by today’s shooting. Praying for everyone in #Aztec especially our students, their loved ones & our first responders.
— Steve Pearce (@Pearce4NM) December 7, 2017

If that looks painfully familiar it’s because you’ve seen it before:

Please pray for our neighbors in Texas.

[TAKE ACTION] Let’s make it harder for people like the Texas shooter to get guns

This is a workable solution to a very specific but troubling “loophole” in the national debate around increased calls for smarter and safer gun laws. A vast majority of mass shooters in some of the deadliest attacks in the last decade have been flagged for domestic violence in their past and yet have still been able to buy firearms with shockingly little oversight.

A new New Mexico movement to pass smart gun laws starts now

Earlier this week, I asked our staff “Can ProgressNow help to  build a new coalition of progressive voters who actually asked candidates about their plans to keep guns out of the hands of children and bad people, and will those voters share that info with their friends and family before election day?” They thought so and they built a campaign to test that idea with a few key supporters. Our test got a good response, but then something unexpected happened in DC that made it even bigger: Congress did something! Just as we launched our new campaign, Senator Heinrich joined a bi-partisan group of Senators to announce a new Senate bill to prevent terrorists from buying firearms.
Then Cong. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the #SitIn to demand a vote on a similar bill in the House (Sen. Udall even joined them!)


WATCH/UPDATE: Sen. Heinrich cited for working
over weekend to craft new anti-terrorist gun access bill
ProgressNowNM | June 23, 2016

READ MORE: NM Dems take part in
‘#NoFlyNoBuy’ sit-in
NM Political Report | June 23, 2016 

New Mexicans love seeing our elected leaders take a stand and that’s just what our new campaign is encouraging our state legislators to do.

Rep. Steve Pearce took $112,931 from NRA, gun groups to stay silent on shootings

Congressman Steve Pearce rounds out the top ten recipients of anti-gun control monies spent by pro-gun lobby groups, most notably the National Rifle Association, in the US. All told, Pearce has received $185,563 in outside contributions – at least $112,931 directly – to look the other way as gun violence continues to tear apart American families since he took office in 2003.[1]


In 2014 alone, he received $17,501 directly from pro-gun PACs and supporters with an additional $6,670 reported by pro-gun groups in supporting him or attacking his opponents.[2]

And those big donations are paying off.  House Republicans, aided by Pearce, have voted three times to block debate on a Republican-sponsored bill to deny firearms to terrorists.  For real.  

Republican NY Rep. Steve King’s bill is called the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015.”

House Committee Passes Proposed Rule to Limit Guns in Roundhouse; Sen Proposal Fails

The House Judiciary Committee, on a party line vote, passed Rep. Brian Egolf’s HM3, “Prohibiting the Carrying of Firearms in the House” and now heads to the House Rules Committee. In an odd turn of events, Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque) proposed an amendment to permit concealed carry permit holders to carry in House offices.  After winning approval of that amendment, he voted against the bill which included it. A similar Senate proposal failed today on a 4-2 vote. New Mexico is one of just 4 states permitting the uninhibited carrying of weapons in the state capitol.  The practice has drawn criticism for years but was amplified last year after right-wing gun owner groups encouraged members to bring assault rifles to the legislature. Deborah Baker of the Albuquerque Journal covered this issue earlier this year.  Read her story here.

White House takes executive action to strengthen gun buyer background check system.

Office of VP Biden @VP

Today, we are taking steps to further strengthen the federal background check system. It’s time Congress joins us in this effort. –VP
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

January 3, 2014
FACT SHEET: Strengthening the Federal Background Check System to Keep Guns out of Potentially Dangerous Hands
Today, the Administration is announcing two new executive actions that will help strengthen the federal background check system and keep guns out of the wrong hands.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) is proposing a regulation to clarify who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law for reasons related to mental health, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a proposed regulation to address barriers preventing states from submitting limited information on those persons to the federal background check system. Too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives as a result of gun violence.  While the vast majority of Americans who experience a mental illness are not violent, in some cases when persons with a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, the result can be tragedies such as homicide or suicide. The Administration takes a comprehensive approach to mental health issues by expanding coverage of mental health services so care is affordable, launching a national conversation on mental health to reduce stigma associated with having a mental illness and getting help, directing funds we have now to improve mental health facilities, and proposing more funds be used for efforts such as training additional mental health professionals.

PRESS RELEASE: “Do Something”: ProgressNowNM calls on elected officials to take meaningful action on gun violence


December 13, 2013
“Do Something”: ProgressNowNM calls on elected officials to take meaningful action on gun violence

Albuquerque – On news of another horrific school shooting, this time on the eve of the Newtown Elementary School shooting anniversary, ProgressNowNM renews it’s call for New Mexico’s elected officials to take meaningful action to prevent another tragedy. ProgressNowNM, New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy group with more than 100,000 supporters across the state, led gun violence prevention efforts alongside other organizations in the last legislative session and targeting New Mexico’s congressional delegation following the inexcusable shootings in Newtown on December 14, 2013. Less than 24 hours before the country pauses in a moment of silence for Newtown victims, Colorado parents rushed to another high school today after news of a new school shooting. ProgressNowNM’s Executive Director Patrick Davis:
“No student or teacher – whether they are in an elementary school in Connecticut, a high school in Colorado or local school in New Mexico – should be afraid to go to school. 
But until more elected officials become more concerned about explaining a child’s death to a grieving parent than they are explaining a reasonable vote to a gun industry lobbyist, we have every right to live in fear of the next preventable tragedy. Our message from day one has been simple: Do something.