NMDOH releases new report on gunshot victim data across New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Department of Health recently released an in-depth report that includes gunshot victim data from hospitals and databases all over the state.
The data assembled in the report goes deeper, and confirms some alarming trends.
Trauma center data confirms firearm-related injuries as a whole increased by nearly 40% since 2019, and those injuries are getting more serious.
There was a 61% increase in those patients needing surgery in the same time period.
For the actual patients, the report found 84% of them are men – women are far less likely to suffer firearm-related injuries.
Data shows the number of Hispanic, Black, and Indigenous people killed by guns has increased.
The number of children injured by guns increased by nearly 75% since 2018.
In just the past year, the number of teen boys injured by guns increased 32%. While the number of teen girls injured by guns doubled.
It’s a trend city and state leaders are extremely concerned about.
“There are more, and more teens armed with firearms now than any other period than I’ve ever seen,” said Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina.
“It should horrify every American and every New Mexican that so many young people, and so many individuals with no training with reckless criminal behaviors are openly carrying firearms in our communities. I’m horrified,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The report reveals only around a third of New Mexican households have a gun, but 44% of high school students say they are living in a home with a gun.
One survey focusing on homes with guns and children revealed at least 15% of adults keep their firearms unlocked.
The report connects an increase in gun violence with drug and alcohol abuse.
Since 2018, there was a massive surge in gun-related homicides involving substance abuse.
While there was actually a decrease in ones involving serious crimes like robbery and drug dealing, it’s a trend state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to address.
“It is a crisis fueled by drug addiction, and it is a crisis we do not take lightly,” said Speaker of the House Javier Martinez.
“We look at the homicides, where did they evolve around? They revolve around felons, drugs, mostly fentanyl, and gangs, and that’s where all the violence is,” said state Rep. Bill Rehm.
While gun violence is often treated as a statewide issue, the report reveals only the metro and northeast New Mexico are seeing major increases in gun-related injuries.
Almost all of southern New Mexico saw decreases in gun-related injuries in the past year.
Still, the report estimates gun violence costs the state of New Mexico $6 billion a year. Almost $3,000 per person.
Suicide is still the number one cause of death.
A spokesperson for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office sent KOB 4 the following statement Tuesday:
“Over the last few years, New Mexico has seen a dramatic, alarming increase in gun violence among youth.
Gov. Lujan Grisham knows having more data about the impact of gun violence in New Mexico is foundational to making informed decisions about the best ways of keeping every New Mexican safe.
The data provided by the New Mexico Department of Health is another tool to build off her record of comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation in the upcoming session.”