New Mexico Lawmakers are the First to Advance an Innovative Approach to Ban Assault Weapons
SANTA FE, N.M — The New Mexico chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued the following statement after lawmakers in the House Judiciary Committee passed HB 137. The bill, which now heads to the floor, prohibits the possession, sale, and transfer of gas-operated semi automatic firearms and large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This includes military-style weapons commonly used in mass tragedies.
“For decades, we have witnessed how these weapons of war have torn apart our communities – now we are one step closer from keeping them off our streets for good,” said Becky Cox, a volunteer with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “From testifying, to rallying and engaging with lawmakers, we look forward to continuing working to get these bills to the Governor’s desk. Our communities deserve better and we will not stand idle until this bill, along with other crucial measures aimed at saving lives, are enacted into law.”
In the same hearing lawmakers also advanced HB 127 which seeks to raise the age of purchase of many semi automatic firearms —including handguns and rifles— to 21. Earlier this week the House Judiciary Committee advanced other life-saving measures including HB 129 which seeks to strengthen the state’s gun safety laws by creating a 14-day waiting period on all firearm purchases. It also prohibits gun stores from finalizing sales until the background check is completed.
In an average year, 492 people die by guns. With a rate of 23.4 deaths per 100,000 people, New Mexico has the 6th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. The rate of gun deaths has increased 80% from 2012 to 2021 in New Mexico, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. More information about gun violence in New Mexico is available here.