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NRA-Backed Losing Candidate Arrested in Connection to Shooting at Lawmakers’ Homes; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond


ALBUQUERQUE, NM — 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 former candidate who lost his bid for a State House seat in November was arrested in connection with a series of recent shootings at the homes of four elected officials. According to reports, Solomon Peña allegedly paid other men to shoot at local county and state lawmakers’ homes.

“The facts alleged here reflect the alarming trend of extremists, motivated by conspiracy theories like those around supposedly rigged elections, turning to guns in an attempt to intimidate and impose their will on society.,” said D. Baca, a volunteer from the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This is just the latest example of the link between guns and far-right extremists peddling dangerous conspiracy theories. While the other side fights democracy, we’ll continue to fight for a country free of gun violence.”

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, Solomon Peña had complaints about the election and believed it was “rigged” against him. In July 2022, local reporting highlighted Mr. Peña’s past felony burglary and larceny convictions, which could have resulted in conflict of state law. However, that didn’t stop the NRA from giving Mr. Peña the highest grade a candidate without previous elected office can obtain. Everytown has detailed the deadly nexus between right-wing extremism and easy access to firearms and the gun lobby’s ties to far-right-extremism, including here.

Statistics about gun violence in New Mexico are available here, and Everytown For Gun Safety Support Fund’s interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — is available here. To speak with an Everytown expert about the NRA and gun lobby’s ties to far-right extremism or gun violence in New Mexico, please reach out to [email protected].