February 8, 2019 – New Mexico is not insulated from gun violence, and mass shootings. It was just a little over a year ago two students were shot at killed at Aztec High School. In response, lawmakers this year are proposing a slew of new gun control measures, from restrictions on who can have guns to how background checks are carried out. But even with a stronger democratic majority, these bills will no doubt face tough opposition in both the House and Senate. New Mexico in Focus Correspondent Gwyneth Doland talks with lawmakers about the pros and cons of these proposals and how they might all fare during this year’s 60-day session.
January 17, 2019 – There are several gun laws that will be proposed in the legislative session in January. One of these involves Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO). Sometimes called “red flag laws,” they’re a bit like restraining orders on guns. They allow for the temporary removal of guns and ammunition from people deemed a threat to themselves or to others. They are gaining momentum across the U.S. At least 13 states have them on the books, including strong gun states like Vermont and Oregon, and at least 20 more are considering them, including New Mexico. The idea has been gaining traction since the Parkland Fla. shootings and even the NRA has voiced some support for some of these laws, although other gun rights activists oppose them.
Recent studies on the laws in Indiana and Connecticut show they are effective at preventing suicides, which make up 60 percent of gun violence deaths in the U.S., but there is little data on how effectively they prevent homicides. At the same time, there are examples where red flag laws have limitations, such as in cases of domestic violence. Some of this is due to how these laws are implemented, how the laws are written and the level of public education around the laws.
There is also the question of what happens after the guns are removed. In some states, there is a mandate the subject be connected to mental health or other services, but that’s not universally true.
Correspondent Megan Kamerick sits down with Rep. Daymon Ely, who is working on a “red flag” law to be presented during this year’s legislative session. This is followed by a discussion of the pros and cons of Extreme Risk Protection Orders with a diverse panel that includes a crisis intervention detective and a gun rights advocate.
Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Bernalillo and Sandoval
Zachary Fort, President, New Mexico Shooting Sports Association
Nancy Koenigsberg, Legal Director, Disability Rights New Mexico
Detective Matthew Tinney, Crisis Intervention Team, Albuquerque Police Department