Ahead of planned armed demonstrations in Santa Fe, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers are available to discuss the deadly nexus between far-right extremism and lax gun laws. The armed demonstrations come in the wake of – and are spurred on by – a violent, pro-Trump mob, many armed, storming and damaging the United States Capitol Building in an act of violent insurrection on Jan. 6.
Due in large part to rhetoric from President Trump and decades of fear mongering from gun lobby groups like the NRA, extreme right-wing intimidation and violence has been on the rise in recent years, leading to at least 85 instances of armed intimidation and incidents involving guns at protests in state capitals from May through December 2020, alone. A report by Everytown in September warned of this violence and examined the toxic mix of conspiracy theories, the common denominator of guns, and far-right extremism in America.
Fully addressing the dangers that armed extremism poses to the United States will require a whole host of strong gun policies and other measures, including addressing hate in our country. Today, Everytown for Gun Safety unveiled a new policy plan designed to eliminate armed intimidation from politics by prohibiting guns at Capitol buildings and grounds, government buildings, polling locations, vote counting locations, and protests on public property.
Prior to the armed insurrection in the U.S. Capitol last week, Rep. Yvette Herrell tried to challenge the election results. The Republican party of New Mexico also advanced claims of voter fraud and even elected an alternate slate of electors to vote for Trump, even though Trump lost New Mexico. These challenges played a role in inciting violence in the U.S. Capitol. Both Rep. Herrell and the New Mexico Republican party condemned the armed extremists who breached the Capitol. FBI officials have already warned of subsequent armed demonstrations at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe as President-elect Biden’s inauguration approaches.
What to know about the lax New Mexico gun laws which make these armed demonstrations even more dangerous:
- Open Carry:
- Open carry, which allows for carrying firearms visibly in public, is a dangerous policy exploited by white supremacists and extremists, like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol, to intimidate their opponents. In New Mexico, there are no restrictions on open carry which led to armed protests at the Roundhouse last week. Research shows that the violent rhetoric accompanying open carry has been steadily increasing by extremists. More information about open carry laws is available here.
What to know about gun violence in New Mexico:
- New Mexico has the seventh highest rate of gun deaths in the country. In the state, on average, 415 people die by guns every year. In the last decade, gun deaths have increased 49% in New Mexico, compared to an 18% increase nationwide.
- An average of 136 people in New Mexico die by gun homicide every year. New Mexico has the highest rate of gun deaths among Latino people. And, Black people in New Mexico are four times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people.
Statistics about gun violence in New Mexico are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how New Mexico gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from New Mexico Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action on the deadly nexus between extremism and lax gun laws, please don’t hesitate to reach out.