Governor establishes ERPO task force
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday signed an executive order establishing a task force dedicated to the coordination and promotion of the Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order, common-sense gun violence prevention legislation enacted by the governor in 2020 to combat gun violence and improve public safety.
“Extreme risk protection orders are an effective, nationally proven tool to prevent gun violence and protect New Mexicans,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This task force will ensure stakeholders across the state have the information and tools they need to successfully and proactively address threats of gun violence and prevent harm in New Mexico communities.”
Tasked with supporting state and local efforts to strengthen implementation of the Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order (ERFPO), the Extreme Risk Task Force will be chaired by Department of Public Safety Secretary Jason Bowie and consist of six additional members appointed by the governor with professional experience in law enforcement, mental health, or public health.
The task force will focus on developing and disseminating recommended training materials and protocols on the use of ERFPO for relevant parties across the state, including law enforcement, the judiciary, school officials, and behavioral health providers. Additionally, the group will work to seek funding for the development of a statewide public awareness campaign designed to educate the general public about the public safety protections of ERFPO. The task force will also publish a report by the end of next year detailing a variety of information regarding extreme risk protection order petitions filed statewide.
“The establishment of the governor’s ERPO Task Force is a positive initiative to help communities across New Mexico combat gun violence and improve public safety for our residents,” said Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza. “Gun violence is a crisis within New Mexico communities and the ERPO Task Force will hopefully generate additional tools and recommendations that law enforcement entities can utilize to strengthen enforcement of Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Orders and other laws enacted by New Mexico lawmakers.”
“Extreme risk protection orders are a vital tool in the fight to save lives and prevent gun violence. We’ve seen tragedies time and time again where a shooter had shown that they were a danger to themselves or others, but nothing was done,” said Sean Holihan, state legislative director of the Giffords organization. “We applaud this executive order and thank the Governor for her work.”
“We’re grateful that Governor Lujan Grisham is again showing up for the people of New Mexico and taking action to end gun violence,” said Renee Upston, a volunteer with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This executive order will help our state better implement its Extreme Risk law to keep guns out of the hands of those who have shown clear warning signs – and save lives. We thank the governor, and will continue to advocate for common sense gun laws to end gun violence.”
Gov. Lujan Grisham working with the state legislature, city, county, and state law enforcement and behavioral health workers has enacted common-sense gun violence prevention measures and invested more in state and public safety than any previous administration – in the last four years, the governor’s administration has invested nearly three times more in public safety infrastructure than in the previous eight years combined. Earlier this year Governor Lujan Grisham signed a bipartisan package of initiatives designed to combat crime, which including:
- Strengthening penalties for gun crimes, including a felon in possession of a firearm and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony;
- Created criminal statutes relating to violent threats, property damage, and chop shops; eliminated the statute of limitation for second degree murder;
- Establishing the Violence Intervention Program Act, accompanied by $9 million in the budget to implement violence intervention programs statewide;
- And allocating several million dollars for Crime Reduction Grants.
The executive order can be found here.