History of Action
We have been working since 2013 to support our mission that focuses on the safety of children, families and communities, working to prevent gun violence. New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) is a 501(c)3 non-partisan organization whose sole purpose is the prevention of gun violence in New Mexico. We work through grass roots mobilization to promote reasonable gun laws, as well as educating the public about gun safety and the high emotional and financial costs of gun-related violence against children and adults.
- United Way of Otero County Firearms Raffle: When one of our members alerted us that the Otero branch of the United Way would be raffling off over 100 guns, including a sniper rifle, we got active. Our co-president, Miranda Viscoli co-penned an editorial with Valerie Palme in the Huffington Post. We reached out to the Los Angeles Times and they too, wrote a piece on the United Way raffle. We worked with States United Against Gun Violence and their 30 affiliate states to unleash a social media campaign. The campaign was so effective that the president of United Way World Wide stopped tweeting. The good news is that it worked! United Way World Wide has now changed their licensing agreement! They will no longer allow firearms raffles starting in 2017. (Apparently these had been going on throughout the country for years under the Untied Way brand)
Student Pledge Against Gun Violence: We just finished our fourth year doing the Pledge in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. According to the New Mexico Youth Resilience Survey, we are now seeing a 54% reduction in students bringing weapons to school in Santa Fe since we began partnering with schools to promote the Pledge. We obviously can’t prove that the reduction was solely because of the Pledge, but we know in working with hundreds of students on gun violence prevention projects and watching thousands sign the Pledge in the last three years, that this program has had a lasting and profound impact on these students.
This year, students on the Student Wellness Action Teams from nine schools created Day of the Dead Altars with pictures of all the children shot and killed in the last two years in New Mexico. The altars are on display at El Museo Cultural Center. We also created a garden at Santa Fe High School (SFHS) and SFHS students planted bulbs in honor of all gun violence victims.
- Murals to End Gun Violence: NMPGV began this new program as another avenue to raise awareness on the issue of gun violence prevention with our youth. We funded and organized two murals at Santa Fe High School and Capitol High.
Guns to Gardens: In the summer of 2016, we raised money to conduct gun buybacks throughout New Mexico.
Changing circumstances – children in the home, a suicidal family member, substance abuse or a loved one dies leaving an unwanted firearm in a home or other dangerous situations – can convince many gun owners it’s time to let go of their firearm but they might be afraid to sell it because of the possibility it will end up in unsafe hands or even the hands of a criminal. Under the buyback program, they can turn the gun over to law enforcement anonymously and receive.
- We held our first two gun buybacks in Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Police Station and at the Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Department. All guns are dismantled and then RAWtools forges them into gardening tools to be donated to our community gardens. Santa Fe Community College welding and art departments are creating artwork out of the guns.
- Legislation: New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence helped pass House Bill 336. This bill requires New Mexico Courts to report mental health records into the National Instant Criminal Background check System (NICS) and makes New Mexico eligible for federal grant money to help support NICS. These mental health records are crucial in gun violence prevention as sixty eight percent of gun violence in New Mexico comes from suicide. New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence has worked for four years to get this legislation passed, and we are proud to stand together with our New Mexico legislature to promote gun violence prevention.
- NMPGV succeeded in blocking every NRA bill during the 2016 session.
- NMPGV was awarded over $10,000 dollars by 100 Woman who Care Santa Fe.
- Orlando Vigil: After the horrific mass shooting in Orlando Florida NMPGV co-partnered with the City of Santa Fe and the LGTB Community to organize a vigil on the Plaza with close to 1000 people attending. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdj3zNjYRg4
- Participated on a panel moderated by John Deer on the issue of gun violence prevention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Co-president Harry Eberts was recognized as, one of the, “People We Love” in the prestigious Santa Fean magazine.
- Co-president Miranda Viscoli was awarded on of the 10 Who Made a Difference by the Santa Fe New Mexican
- Participated in health tables around New Mexico. NMPGV handed out 100’s of free gun locks and gun safety materials
- In February, NMPGV co-sponsored a Town Hall on gun violence prevention with Mayor Gonzales as our moderator at the South side library. NMPGV brought together police, the DA, the Sky Center, Santa Fe Safe, a high school student and Senator Nancy Rodriguez. We took questions from a very packed room on the issue of how to stem the tide of gun violence in our state.
- NMPGV continues to hit the airwaves and newspapers to raise awareness on the issue of gun violence prevention.
- Presented at Journey Santa Fe with the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence on the problem of guns and domestic violence.
- Presented at the New Mexico Department of Public Health Policy Forum on the issue of gun violence in New Mexico.
- NMPGV taught two classes at Santa Fe Prep where we discussed the issue of gun violence in our state and country. Our very own Dr. Webster shared his experiences as an emergency room doctor in Chicago.
- In April, NMPGV was asked to sit on a panel put together by District Attorney Jennifer Padgett. On the panel were state police, local police, and non-profits that work in substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide.
- In May, NMPGV participated in the Rio Arriba Health Fair where we handed out free gunlocks and worked with students to make gun violence prevention posters.
- Launch of NMGS website.
- Formation of strategic plan and legislative agenda.
- Presented at Santa Fe Prep to educate students on the importance of gun violence prevention.
- Participated in Health Day at the Santa Fe Capitol.
- Helped get bus ads in Rio Arriba County to get guns locked up.
- Worked with the Santa Fe Police Department to get more gunlocks to hand out at public events.
- Spoke at the Rio Arriba Health Council Meeting on the importance of locking up guns.
- Spoke at a UNM Forum with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
- Had our table at the Dia Del Gente (Community Day) on the Santa Fe Plaza where we handed out free gunlocks and information on gun violence prevention in our state.
- Spoke on the David Bacon show about gun violence in our state.
- Spoke on KSFR news at noon to discuss the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill and the problem of weakening strong state concealed carry laws.
- Participated in 2015 legislative session: (see Legislative Page make so link goes to legislative).
- Met with Senator Udall’s staff in Santa Fe and Washington to talk about the importance of voting against the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
- Had our table at Sunday is Funday in Rio Rancho where we handed out free gun locks and gun safety educational materials. Co-partnered with the New Mexico State Police where we had our table and handed out free gun locks. We were awarded a grant from the LANL Education Foundation to implement the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence in Rio Arriba County.
- Ongoing gun safety research work by New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence volunteers.
- Supported HB 77. Organized Roundhouse rally for HB 77-parents & children. Delivered to Governor Martinez over 3,000 signatures in support of HB77. Held rally with the City of Santa Fe asking the Governor to call HB44 (previously HB77) for a vote. Held rally co-sponsored by the City of Santa Fe asking Governor Martinez to call HB77 (previously HB44) for a vote. Collected over 3,000 signatures in support of HB77 and delivered to the Governor's office.
- Worked to finalize approval of NMPGV as a 501(c)3 and development of the Board of Directors.
- Launched Student Pledge Against Gun Violence Campaign in Santa Fe School District and at Mesa Vista High School in Ojo Caliente. Passed a resolution with the Santa Fe Public Schools. Collaborated with S.W.A.T (Student Wellness Action Teams) to create student awareness on gun violence through art projects.
- Worked with Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales to gain support for our proclamation for the City of Santa Fe to adopt the Student Pledge. In addition to signing the proclamation, Mayor Gonzales went to schools throughout the city to sign the Pledge with Santa Fe students.
- Participated in Health fairs and community events throughout the state of New Mexico to educate gun owners on the importance of locking up guns if they have children in their homes. In addition, NMGS handed out hundreds of free gunlocks and educational materials. Sites included: Rio Arriba Health Fair, Tewa Gathering for Mother Earth, Pueblo 8 Caregivers Meeting, City of Santa Fe Anti-bullying Session for Parents, Parent Teacher Conference at Mesa Vista High School in Ojo Caliente, and Community Day on the Santa Fe Plaza.
- Organized December 14, Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Sandy Hook: On December 14th at El Museo Cultural Center in Santa Fe, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence organized a community event to raise awareness of the problem of gun violence and our youth. Speakers included John Dear, Rev. Dr. Harry Eberts, and Representative Miguel Garcia. Performers included: The 3HC Breakers, Will Campbell, The Fletcher John Trio, Pojoaque Pueblo Hoop Dancers, Main Street Theatre (director: Rosalea Traina), and CSRock Show.
- Supported Brady Campaign Amicus Brief in Heller v. District of Columbia, No 14-7071 (D.C. Cir.)
- NMPGV representatives attended the Brady Conference (Washington D.C.), States United Against Gun Violence (Washington DC), Moms Demand Action (Denver, Co), and the Washington National Cathedral Prayer Vigil on the Sandy Hook Anniversary.
- NMPGV met with representatives and senators in the offices of Senator Tom Udall, Senator Martin Heinrich, Representative Ben Ray Lujan, and Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham in Washington to talk about the importance of gun violence prevention laws in New Mexico.
- Created Firearm-Free Business Zones in and around Santa Fe.
- Participated on the selection committee for selecting the new Santa Fe Police Chief.
- Public Service Announcements campaign implemented in Santa Fe.
- Organized “Trigger” Film events at First Presbyterian Church and CCA, and held a panel discussion with Representative Miguel Garcia and gun violence prevention advocate Mary Lewis Grow.
- Created a statewide email list for on-going NMGS campaign promotion.
- New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence worked closely with the Santa Fe Police Department. Together we handed out gun locks, created a PSA and sought the counsel of Chief Ray Rael on how to work towards a safer state and city from gun violence. We also testified together, and the police department spoke at all of our public events.
- New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence used the radio to educate New Mexico on the importance of Gun Violence Prevention. We have done radio shows numerous times on KSFR, the Mary Charlotte Show, David Bacon, UNM, Hutton Broadcasting and Steve Fischmann’s show in Las Cruces.
- Co-president Miranda Viscoli was awarded the Mucho Gusto Award for her work on the Student Pledge Against gun violence and gun violence prevention in the state of New Mexico.
- Created New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence working group of volunteers.
- Conducted research on incidents of gun-violence in New Mexico and evidence-based gun safety strategies.
- Supported HB44. Held several rallies in support of HB44 which hundreds of people attended, our last rally being sponsored by the City of Santa Fe. New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence was chosen by the Public Voice Alliance to do a United Action in Las Cruces to bolster support for HB44. The result was hundreds of letters and calls to legislators in support of HB44. We promoted HB44 on local television stations and spoke on radio shows throughout the state. In addition, we collected thousands of signatures.