#NMLEG WRAP UP

This year’s legislative session was a really intense roller coaster, to say the least, and we all took some time to rest and reflect together on why we do this important political work. ProgressNow New Mexico’s coverage hardly scratched the surface and I want to take a moment to fill you in. I will also give you some tips on how you can help fight back against dangerous rhetoric! Reproductive Health

Anti-abortion extremists were in full force, spreading misinformation and only harassing an Indigenous and queer person (me) over House Bill 51, not including legislators and their families. They regularly use tactics like harassing and stalking to intimidate activists, medical providers, and patients so this is just one of their many tactics.

5 Reasons New Mexico Must Pass SB 8- Background Checks for Firearms

On January 30, Senate Bill 8 (Firearm Sale Background Check), sponsored by Senators Wirth and Martinez, passed Senate Judiciary! Some time very soon, SB 8 will be heard on the Senate Floor and we want to dispel some gross mistruths about gun safety measures that are moving through committee in the New Mexico State Legislature. Here are 5 reasons that we need background checks for firearms:

When Connecticut implemented this law, their gun homicide rate went down by 40%Women shot to death by intimate partners went down by 47%In many states, 1 out of 10 people seeking guns have backgrounds that wouldn’t allow them to have guns in the first placeBackground checks have blocked more than 3 million salesQuinnipiac University polling found that 97% of Americans across the aisle support background checks

This is not some radical bill. This is common sense and it saves lives. The proposed legislation will require online sellers to do what retailers have had to do for decades: a background check.

Two days before anniversary of Aztec shooting, NRA warns NM members of “attacks” on gun rights

In a grossly insensitive and inflammatory letter on Wednesday, the National Rifle Association warned its New Mexico members to “Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session.” 

This letter came two days before today’s one-year anniversary of the fatal, shooting at Aztec High School; an actual attack that left two young people dead. 

So, who’s really under “attack?” New Mexico gun owners? No, they’re not. Common sense gun regulations are supported by the majority of voters. We know that by the results of this year’s elections.

Too Much At Stake To Not Vote

There’s plenty of reasons people use to excuse themselves from not voting. But in case you need a reminder of why every vote, and especially your vote is important, we simply need to look at our state’s national rankings on everything from education to healthcare. That’s right, we are last in everything! In fact, New Mexico was recently ranked 51st in the nation in terms of our level of political engagement.   

A highly engaged electorate that participates in the democratic process and holds our elected officials accountable is critical to having a well-functioning democracy.

10 Reasons why Gary Johnson Is Wrong for New Mexico

Wait… What!? Gary Johnson is back in NM?! *facepalm*

Perrinial “outsider” and self-proclaimed “dumbest guy you’ve ever met in your whole life” Gary Johnson is officially back in New Mexico once again trying to stay relevant. Johnson filed paperwork with the Secretary of State Tuesday to run as a Libertarian, taking the place of current Commissioner of Public Lands, Aubrey Dunn. 

But before we get all hung up on the spectacle of another semi-celebrity running for office, we thought it’d be important to remind people where old Gary really stands on the issues.

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.

[TAKE ACTION] Smarter gun policy needs to be forefront up and down the ballot across the state in 2018

Primary elections in New Mexico take place in June, and the general election isn’t until November but knowing where candidates stand on the issue of smarter gun laws is something we should all be paying attention to now. With the momentum from the brave students in Florida who survived last weeks massacre who are demanding something be done about the lax gun laws in this country, current elected leaders and candidates should be seeing this as cornerstone issue for 2018. And, this past 30-day session the issue of smarter gun laws hardly made a blip. As the Santa Fe New Mexican put it:

Debate over gun control may be raging in many parts of the country, but little of it has been heard at New Mexico’s Capitol. The issue barely registered during the legislative session that began a month after a gunman killed two students at a school in Aztec and ended the same week a shooter in Florida killed 17 people at a high school.