The New Mexico chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today issued an executive order to help improve implementation of New Mexico’s Extreme Risk law and address gun violence across the state. The executive order will help fully implement New Mexico’s Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act (the “ERFPO Act”), which authorizes law enforcement officers to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from people who are found to pose a significant imminent risk of violence to themselves or others. The Governor’s executive action comes following the deadly killings of multiple members of the Albuquerque Muslim community, which has rocked both the state and the entire nation.
“We’re grateful that Governor Lujan Grisham is again showing up for the people of New Mexico and taking action to end gun violence,” said Renee Upston, a volunteer with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our state is facing a gun violence crisis. This executive order will help our state better implement its Extreme Risk law to keep guns out of the hands of those who have shown clear warning signs – and save lives. We thank the Governor, and will continue to advocate for common sense gun laws to end gun violence.”
“Research shows that broadening implementation of extreme risk orders save lives,” said Breanne Potter, a volunteer with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The Governor’s executive order is a win for the gun violence prevention movement. It shows our state’s commitment to taking action to end the gun violence epidemic facing New Mexico and the country.”
According to the most recent data on Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), New Mexico has scarcely utilized extreme risk orders, filing only 7 petitions since they passed the ERFPO Act in 2019. Of the states that have red flag Laws, New Mexico has the second lowest rate of implementation.
The executive order creates an Extreme Risk Task Force in an effort to strengthen the ERFPO Act. The task force will be charged with creating training materials for state and local officials on filing petitions, training materials for school officials, behavioral health providers, and suicide hotline or other crisis treatment providers. The executive order also allows the task force to apply for grant funding for New Mexico, which can be supplemented by funds provided by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022 (BSCA), an historic gun safety bill signed by President Biden in June which provides federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia now have extreme risk laws, also known as red flag laws, on the books. These laws empower loved ones or law enforcement to seek intervention via a civil order to temporarily prevent someone from accessing firearms if they are displaying warning signs that they may be a danger to themself or others. Extreme risk laws can help de-escalate emergency situations and are a proven way to prevent gun violence from taking more lives. The majority of mass shooters display dangerous warning signs before the shooting occurs, highlighting the need for these laws. But these tools are only helpful if actually used.
Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in New Mexico. Every year, over 433 New Mexicans are shot and killed and nearly 618 are wounded. Gun violence costs New Mexico $6.6 billion each year, of which $141.8 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in New Mexico is available here.