History & Accomplishments
Since 2013, we have been working to promote the safety of children, families, and communities, by focusing on preventing 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 grassroots 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.
Guns to Gardens Gun Buybacks: We held four Guns To Gardens gun buybacks this year. They were in Taos, Las Cruces, Espanola and Tierra Amarillo. The result was that we took 217 unwanted working guns out of our communities. Over 20% were assault weapons and semi-automatic hand guns. We also took two sawed-off shot guns off the street. All firearms will be dismantled and turned into gardening tools which you can purchase on our website. All proceeds will help to fund future gun buybacks.
Work with Students: After the Parkland shooting, schools and students reached out to NMPGV for help. NMPGV created venues where students could communicate their ideas, and we supported their planned activities. We held panel discussions at Capitol High School, Desert Academy, and the Mandela Charter School on the issue of gun violence in New Mexico. We helped more than 30 students from schools plan a Youth Rally Against Gun Violence at the Capitol on April 20th. Close to 500 students attended the rally. In planning for the day, NMPGV helped the students understand New Mexico’s gun laws (or lack thereof), brought in a victim of gun violence so they could hear her story, helped facilitate a legislative panel, and of course, fed the students while they worked. In addition, we got students on the radio and on local television to speak about gun violence. The day included a panel with legislators, law enforcement, and suicide prevention experts, as well as a student rally, a die-in, and letter writing to legislators demanding they do something on gun violence. We helped to organize and event with the Parkland High school students with our youth working on gun violence prevention. Hundreds were in attendance at Roosevelt Park.
Gun Violence Prevention Art Quilt: At New Mexico School for the Arts and Mandela Charter School, we worked with students on our collaborative art project honoring children shot and killed in New Mexico. This was the 15th school to work on this project. NMPGV also helped students from Capitol High School write gun violence prevention legislation for the spring New Mexico Youth in Government mock legislation.
Murals to End Gun Violence: We completed our 5th Mural to End Gun Violence. We worked with an amazing group of talented high school students from Sandoval County. The students came from Zia Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, Kewa Pueblo and Bernalillo County. The mural is portable and was the backdrop for the Parkland students when they came to Albuquerque. It was unveiled at the 13th District Court House in Sandoval County where it will be on display through the end of November. It will then begin a tour around the state. The honorable Judge Louis McDonald honored our artists with certificates and letters of appreciation for their work on the mural and their service to the community on the issue of gun violence. The mural’s first stop was the Road to Change Tour Wednesday, July 11th. It was later unveiled at the Sandoval County courthouse where it was on display for 8 months. It is currently on display at Rust Medical Center. We completed our 6th Gun Violence Prevention mural. This one is located at La Puebla Boys and Girls Club.
Outreach: We presented to Indivisible in Angel Fire New Mexico on the issue of gun violence.
Gun Safety: We handed out free gun locks and gun safety information at the health fair in Mountaineer New Mexico. We handed out free gun locks at the Fuegos baseball games.
Legislation: New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence presented our 2019 legislation at the joint meeting of the Legislative Health and Human Services and Courts Corrections and Justice Committee hearing. We presented our domestic violence offenders firearms relinquishment bill. This would require domestic violence offenders under protective orders to relinquish all firearms while under a protective order. We also proudly introduced our two students, Julia Mazal and Sophie Luissiez, who are working on passing a Child Access Prevention bill. We passed a Senate Memorial requesting research on teen suicide prevention with a firearm and prevention of school shootings.
Community Outreach: We helped organize a panel with UNM Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to bring national and local experts to the table to talk about the issue of gun violence prevention when it comes to suicide and domestic violence. Our panelists include: Joshua Horwitz, JD, Director, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence; Jeff Swanson, PhD, Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Social & Community Psychiatry, Duke University School of Medicine.
Town Hall: We organized and moderated a town hall at Site Santa Fe
We passed the first New Mexico gun violence prevention bill in years. This bill would have kept guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders who are under protective orders. It passed through the House and Senate with bi-partisan support. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed it. We will be back in 2019 to sign this bill into law.
We successfully blocked every single NRA bill as we have for the past four years.
We completed three more Murals To End Gun Violence in New Mexico Public Schools. These murals were created and implemented by our talented high school art students. This year’s murals were at Capitol High School, Pojoaque Valley High School, and Espanola Valley High School. Thanks to a generous grant from Lush Cosmetics we have the funding to complete three more murals.
We worked with hundreds of students on the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence. This year’s project was a collaborative art project that honored children shot and killed in New Mexico. We will continue to work on this project throughout 2018. Once it is completed, we will take it to the Washington Mall. Since implementing the Pledge in Northern New Mexico there has been a 54% reduction of students bringing weapons to school.
We did three more Guns To Gardens Gun Buybacks. These buybacks were in Rio Arriba, Taos and Los Alamos. We have removed nearly 200 unwanted guns from our communities, including dozens of semi-automatic hand guns, assault weapons and even a sawed off shotgun. Next we are headed to Las Cruces and returning to Taos for a second gun buyback. All guns are dismantled on site and turned into gardening tools or artwork created by community college art and welding students.
When we discovered that United Way Worldwide was sanctioning firearms raffles, we applied pressure through the traditional media, national editorials and a social media campaign. United Way World Wide made the right choice and changed its licensing agreement to specifically forbid all firearms raffles under its name.
We know that education is crucial to changing the tide of gun violence. We have taught classes on gun violence prevention in our schools and adult communities throughout New Mexico. We spoke at conferences, presented at community events and handed out free gunlocks and gun safety information to parents
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 WorldWide stopped tweeting. The good news is that it worked! United Way WorldWide has now changed their licensing agreement! They will no longer allow firearms raffles starting in 2017. (Apparently, these raffles had been going on throughout the country for years under the United 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 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 New Mexico students.
For their 2016 project, students on the Student Wellness Action Teams from nine schools created Day of the Dead Altars with pictures of all the children who have been 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) where 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. 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 were 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 his 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 Women Who Care Santa Fe.
Orlando Vigil: After the 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.
Participated in 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 one of the 10 Who Made a Difference by the Santa Fe New Mexican
Participated in health tables around New Mexico. NMPGV handed out 100s 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 Southside 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 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 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 gun locks and worked with students to make gun violence prevention posters.
Launch of NMPGV website.
Formation of a 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 gun locks 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 gun locks and information on gun violence prevention in our state.
Spoke on the David Bacon show about gun violence in our state.
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.
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, NMPGV handed out hundreds of free gun locks 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.
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 in the selection committee for selecting the new Santa Fe Police Chief.
Public Service Announcements campaign implemented in Santa Fe.
Created a statewide email list for on-going NMPGV 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 was 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.