The New Mexico chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after a legislative panel voted to prohibit guns in the Roundhouse with limited exceptions. During the debate, lawmakers noted that armed intimidation in the past was part of the deciding factor to pass the legislation. The policy will take effect on December 6.
“Guns and democracy don’t mix,” said Anamaria Dahl, a volunteer with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Armed intimidation isn’t new and this common-sense measure will protect all those who visit the Roundhouse to participate in our legislative process.We are grateful for the Democratic leadership of the legislative panel and know we’ll breathe a sigh of relief next time we are in the building.”
With this vote, New Mexico became the third state to prohibit guns in the Capitol in the last year— joining Washington and Virginia. Earlier this year, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action unveiled a new policy plan designed to eliminate armed intimidation from politics by prohibiting guns at Capitol buildings and on Capitol grounds, sensitive government facilities, polling locations, vote counting locations, and protests on public property.
The open carry of loaded firearms during any demonstration or at the Capitol increases the likelihood that such an event will escalate into a dangerous or deadly situation. Research shows that open carry makes us less safe: visible guns have been found to make people more aggressive; therefore open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts. Members of hate groups regularly openly carry guns in a show of intimidation.
In an average year, 415 people die by guns in New Mexico, and 879 are wounded. New Mexico also has the seventh highest rate of gun violence in the country. Additional information on gun violence in New Mexico is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how New Mexico’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.