Press Release

Giffords Praises New Mexico for Moving Forward with Lifesaving Legislation that Removes Guns from Dangerous People

Legislation would allow courts to temporarily remove guns from individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others

January 8, 2020 Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, praised New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Senator Joseph Cervantes, and Representatives Daymon Ely and Joy Garratt for introducing legislation to establish a process to obtain an extreme risk protection order, which temporarily prohibits an individual who is a danger to themselves or others from possessing a firearm.

“For New Mexicans experiencing a crisis, an extreme risk protection order could be the difference between life or death,” said Nico Bocour, state legislative director at Giffords. “Last year we witnessed sheriffs representing communities at higher risk of firearm suicide play politics with the safety of the New Mexicans they swore to protect. Despite their misguided efforts, leaders in the state have continued to work toward protecting New Mexico from the gun violence epidemic. We applaud their efforts in prioritizing legislation to establish an extreme risk protection order—a policy that will save the lives of countless New Mexicans.”

Extreme risk protection orders create a civil court order, issued by a judge upon consideration of evidence provided by a family member or law enforcement officer, that temporarily prohibits a person in crisis from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition. A common thread in many shootings is that family members of the shooters had noticed their loved ones engaging in dangerous behaviors and were concerned about their risk of harming themselves or others—even before any violence occurred.

Following the introduction of similar legislation last legislative session, sheriffs in more than three-quarters of New Mexico’s counties declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” after the state legislature expanded background checks. This move by the counties caused the legislature to stall an attempt to establish an extreme risk law, which could have benefited New Mexicans, especially residents in rural counties with higher than average gun suicide rates.