New Mexico governor shares update on efforts to curb gun violence
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is renewing her public order on public safety once again. It increases law enforcement efforts in Bernalillo County.
“We believe unequivocally that the public health order is working,” Lujan Grisham said at a news conference Monday.
The governor reiterated that gun violence is an epidemic and a public health issue. She pointed out an increase in arrests in Bernalillo County since the public health order went into effect – including that nearly half are drug-related.
“We have an incredible number of additional arrests and an incredible number of felonies in that arrest group,” she said.
According to her administration, there’s been an increase in guns seized. Law enforcement has reportedly taken 219 guns, including 90 in just the month of November – 13 were from just one suspect.
“We have tons, hundreds of guns off the street and hundreds of guns that are being seized in these arrests,” Lujan Grisham said. “Fewer guns on the streets, safer environment.”
The governor also said law enforcement is catching more people under the age of 18 with guns. The administration says 87 juveniles have been detained for possible gun-related crimes.
The announcement comes just three days after a tragedy at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School that claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy.
“There are no words about how devastating this is,” Lujan Grisham said.
The governor says Bernalillo County needs to crack down on who is selling guns to kids.
“Our attention has to be on interrupting that, holding bad actors accountable, sending them away, getting these guns off the streets,” Lujan Grisham said.
The administration also pointed out the hundreds of guns that people turned in during gun buyback events.
KOB 4 asked New Mexico House Republicans about those statements. GOP leader Ryan Lane says they agree with the governor that crime is out of control, adding, “It is certainly interesting that when you let law enforcement do their job, New Mexicans can see how out of control crime has become these past few years.”
The governor gave some insight into what crime bills she’d like state lawmakers to pass – they include an assault weapons ban, and strengthening extreme risk protection orders as well as prosecutors’ ability to keep suspects in jail until trial. The legislative session starts in just a few weeks.