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Victory For Gun Sense: Governor Lujan Grisham Signs Critical Police Violence Legislation

April 7, 2021

This Marks the Third Straight Legislative Session in which Governor Lujan Grisham Has Signed Life-Saving Gun Safety Legislation Into Law

SANTA FE — The New Mexico chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation to eliminate qualified immunity in the state and create accountability for police misconduct. New Mexico would be the second state to eliminate qualified immunity

“For decades police violence has plagued Black and Latino communities in our state,” said Deborah Baca, a volunteer leader with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Today, we took one step toward preventing that violence. We are grateful to partners on the ground — especially the Black and Latino advocates — who have been leading the fight to end police violence and we are proud to end this legislative session with another critical gun safety law being signed by Governor Lujan Grisham.” 

This session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters sent over 328 email messages to New Mexico lawmakers, including over 252 email messages, in addition to numerous tweets, supporting HB 4. 

Between 2016 and 2020, New Mexico had the second highest rate of people killed by police in the country. Qualified immunity makes it nearly impossible for civilians who are hurt or killed to sue law enforcement after a constitutional violation has happened. For decades, qualified immunity has been one of many institutional barriers to accountability — and to meaningfully reducing the unacceptable toll of police violence. 

Research shows that police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people across the country. In fact, in the last decade, Black people were two times and Latino people were one and a half times as likely to be killed by police in New Mexico. 

Nationally, 95 percent of people killed by police are killed with guns, and 98% of killings by police between 2013-2020 did not result in an officer being charged. Every year, police in the U.S. shoot and kill more than 1,000 people. On an average day, police shoot and kill three people. 

More information about police violence is available here. Additional information on gun violence in New Mexico is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how New Mexico’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.

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