March 18th Rally
It is with a heavy heart that we celebrate the passage of SB328. On the eve of its passage, we learned of the tragic mass shooting in New Zealand. As we grieve with New Zealanders and our Muslim community, we are reminded of the dangerous combination of racism, hatred and firearms, not only in the United States but throughout the world.
Five years ago, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence teamed with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to work on the passage of a bill that would close a loophole in New Mexico law so that domestic abusers under protective orders cannot possess a firearm while under the order. We held a stakeholders table that included law enforcement, the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, judges, elected officials and gun owners. The Gifford’s lobbyists deftly helped us navigate through our political matrix. The bill passed in 2017 only to be vetoed by then Governor Martinez. We redrafted the bill to make it stronger and passed it this last session.
It is now headed to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. We thank our sponsors of SB328: Representative Deborah Armstrong, Senator Joseph Cervantes (who was with us from day one) and Senator Sedilla-Lopez.
In New Mexico, men murder women at the third highest rate in the country. The passage of this legislation is a crucial step in safeguarding women from intimate partner homicide with a firearm. It will also help keep our children safe, as they are often killed in these domestic violence incidences or witness their mother’s murder.
But that is not all we did…
When New Mexico Sheriffs and the NRA worked to get counties throughout the state to become “Second Amendment Sanctuary Cities,” we organized a Die In and press conference at the Capitol with over 100 students. Our amazing volunteers worked tirelessly to make t-shirts with the names of all the students killed in school shootings. We worked with student leaders from the WAVE teams and the Student Advocacy Union on preparing speeches. There were over 200 people in attendance and, once again, we showed our elected officials that the safety of our youth is more important than the NRA’s power over our legislative body.
We thank all of our members for your constant support. We could not do this work without you.