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Group gives New Mexico a C+ on its gun laws

A customer checks out a hand gun that is for sale and on display at SP firearms on June 23, 2022, in Hempstead, New York. A recent report found that New Mexico is doing some things right to prevent gun crimes, but says the state’s laws could go further. Brittainy Newman/AP File Photo
Report found New Mexico is doing some things right to prevent gun crimes

Combating gun violence was a major issue in 2023 in New Mexico and will remain so going forward.

Even with a controversial public health order in September that made headway in the final months of 2023, it was not enough for New Mexico to be given more than a C+ grade from the Giffords Law Center’s Gun Law Scorecard.

“We know gun laws save lives, and more can and must be done in New Mexico. It’s time for lawmakers to get on the same page as most Americans and pass policies to make their states safer,” Executive Director of Giffords Law Center Peter Ambler said in a statement. “The Gun Law Scorecard should be both a resource and road map for elected leaders, activists, and concerned citizens to take action.”

The report found that New Mexico is doing some things right to prevent gun crimes.

These include universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, domestic violence gun laws and the new child access prevention gun law that was passed during the 2023 legislative session.

New Mexico gun laws could go further, according to the Giffords Law Center. This includes gun owner licensing, assault weapon restrictions, waiting periods, strong concealed carry laws, open carry regulations, community violence intervention funding and lost or stolen firearm reporting.

“Since coming into office, Gov. Lujan Grisham has enacted several important pieces of legislation related to firearms, including mandatory background checks, a red flag law and safe storage requirements,” Governor’s Office spokeswoman Maddy Hayden said via email. “The governor’s public health order around gun violence has also resulted in increased arrests of violent offenders and the seizure of hundreds of firearms. But we are clear: more work needs to be done, and we will be introducing a robust suite of common-sense gun safety laws in the upcoming session.”

Similar issues were discussed in law enforcement summits hosted by New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez.

This legislative session’s primary goal is to pass the state budget, however, crime prevention is likely to be another big topic of discussion.

NM Political Report is a nonprofit public news outlet providing in-depth and enterprise reporting on the people and politics across New Mexico.