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
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.
Already done? Let’s get this going by sharing on Facebook right now.
This fall, every single state House and Senate seat is up for election and in districts where seats were decided by 6 and 18 votes, a coalition of passionate, organized voters gets the attention of candidates.
Let’s start now by showing legislative candidates how many of their voters support them if they support responsible solutions to gun violence prevention.
PS – Did you see? While some state legislatures have passed laws closing gun show loopholes and preventing persons under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns, New Mexico’s legislators have considered and killed at least 24 similar pieces of legislation. Only one – a bi-partisan bill to report criminal convictions and mental health commitments to the background check system – passed.
Worse, a group of legislators – led by State Rep. and now-Sec. of State candidate Nora Espinoza – have even gone so far as to prevent local law enforcement officers from enforcing the laws we have on the books, allowing more guns into bars and eliminating proficiency testing for concealed carry permit holders. [See our list of all firearms bills – including some of the best and worst – and the status of each, since 2012]
Enough is enough.
Prior to the shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary, there wasn’t much of a state-based, grassroots movement to stand up to the power of the NRA in states.
But that didn’t deter us at ProgressNow, so we launched New Mexico’s first grassroots movement to support a bill to close the gunshow loophole way back in the 2013 legislative session and more than 13,000 New Mexicans responded.
Since then, new groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence have organized and joined the fight. We can do this again with your help.