This legislative session, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has made the passage of an extreme-risk protection order, House Bill 7 and Senate Bill 5, a priority.

This lifesaving legislation would allow families and law enforcement to petition to the courts to remove firearms from individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others.

It is worth a moment to reflect whether you have known an individual at some time in your life who, at least for some period of time, was not in a state of mind that would have been safe for them to be in possession of a firearm. These laws are a proven and effective way of intervening before tragedy strikes.

In terms of suicide prevention, extreme-risk protection order laws are a proven game changer. One study by professor Jeffrey Swanson at Duke University found that in the first 14 years of Connecticut’s extreme-risk law, of the 732 risk warrants issued with suicide being listed as a concern, 99 percent found firearms. The study estimated that for every 10 to 20 risk warrants issued, one life was saved.

In addition, the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order laws provides a path to treatment and resources. In Connecticut, nearly one-third of the people identified received mental health and substance abuse treatment after intervention.

New Mexico has the fourth-highest rate of suicide in the country, with the majority of those deaths resulting from a firearm. The passage of HB 7 and SB 5 would empower families to intervene before losing a loved one to a suicide by firearm.

Extreme-risk laws also could potentially prevent mass shootings because people who may be at a high risk of dangerous behaviors often have access to firearms.

In Florida, the family that housed the Parkland shooter who killed 17 and injured 17 others was extremely concerned one month before the shooting that the shooter had firearms. After the Parkland shooting, Florida passed an extreme-risk protection order law with bipartisan support. To date, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed ERPO laws.

Some New Mexico sheriffs and the National Rifle Association are fighting to stop the passage of this lifesaving legislation. Their bogus claim that there is not due process is fundamentally flawed.

Family members and law enforcement are required to petition the courts to have any gun temporarily removed. If the judge does not deem a person to be a credible threat, the gun(s) are not removed. In Colorado, that is exactly what happened, demonstrating that there are ample protections to avoid improper use of the law.

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, who seems to be leading the charge to stop passage of this legislation, went on local news to say that the passage would put law enforcement at risk because they would have to confiscate guns from “dangerous” individuals. Not only is he admitting that these individuals pose a threat to themselves and others, he seems to be forgetting that it is the duty of law enforcement to keep our communities safe from gun violence.

New Mexico has some of the worst gun violence in the country. On average, for every two firearm deaths in the United States, there are now three in New Mexico. Every year since 2005 in New Mexico, there were more violent deaths caused by guns than by hanging, drugs and knives combined. In 2018, New Mexico experienced its most violent year of firearm deaths in more than a century with a 6 percent rise in deaths.

Passage of this bill could change the trajectory of gun violence in our state.

Miranda Viscoli is co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.

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(11) comments

Miranda Viscoli

Hmmm.. Charles this is quite the conspiracy theory. I am not from West Hollywood. I am a two-generation native from New Mexico. My grandmother immigrated here from Italy. New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence is the only local grass roots gun violence prevention group in New Mexico. We are not in any way associated with Michael Bloomberg and he has never given our group a dime. But, go ahead and keep spewing these lies. They are better than the Sunday Funnies.

Khal Spencer

Miranda and I might fight about a lot of things, but she has indeed formed a truly grassroots organization in New Mexico. NMTPGV is not a Bloomberg funded clone. Its real people in New Mexico.

Charles Andreoli

True Miranda you don't get money direct from Bloomberg, it's washed through other organizations before passed on to you. But it's still Bloomberg money. And, until you changed your facebook page last year it said you were from West Hollywood. You are a lier and a fraud. Only the simple minded buy into your line of BS.

Miranda Viscoli

"liar and a fraud" Those are some serious accusations. Still from New Mexico and even if I wasn't-- who cares? No money is filtered to us from Bloomberg. Can you prove any of this?

Charles Andreoli

Can you prove you don't. let us take a look at your books.

Peter Neal

Easy solution, Ms Viscoli. Publish a list of your donors. Since they are supporting such an "honorable cause", they should be fine with that.

Khal Spencer

I don't oppose an ERPO order on principle. I just think this one needs some amendments to protect due process and either define points more carefully or delete them from the bill.

Since the New Mexican hasn't published my own tome, here it is in the Los Alamos paper.

https://ladailypost.com/spencer-issues-with-extreme-risk-protection-order/

Charles Andreoli

Miranda Viscoli formally of West Hollywood California is a paid operative of the Bloomberg anti gun organization who is here in NM for the purpose of organizing and pushing the Bloomberg anti gun agenda. She is here with New York money pushing the idiotic east coast anti gun laws. Don't be fooled by her propaganda, this law will do little or nothing to save lives. It is just another stepping stone in the anti gun agenda. NM does not have a gun problem, NM has criminal problem that the powers that be refuse to address. All the anti gun laws you can dream up will have zero effect on crime unless and until the criminal problem is properly addressed.

Ms. Viscoli will try and tell you that her local organization does not get Bloomberg money but that is a misleading statement. The money is washed thru other anti gun organizations but like 90% of all anti gun funding the money comes from Bloomberg. Unfortunately far to many of our state democrat politicians including the Gov and AG are being paid by Bloomberg to violate your constitutional rights.

Miranda Viscoli

Hmmm.. quite the conspiracy theory. I am not from West Hollywood. I am a two-generation native from New Mexico. My grandmother immigrated here from Italy. New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence is the only local grass roots gun violence prevention group in New Mexico. We are not in any way associated with Michael Bloomberg and he has never given our group a dime. But, go ahead and keep spewing these lies. They are better than the Sunday Funnies.

Charles Andreoli

Truth hurts, eh.

Miranda Viscoli

Paid operative??? Dang do some research.... and stop spewing lies.

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