Governor declares gun violence a public health emergency after murder of 11-year-old boy on his way home from baseball game
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared gun violence a public health emergency following the murder of an 11-year-old boy on his way home from a baseball game on Wednesday night.
“Today, I join the family of an 11-year-old boy in mourning his violent death yesterday. And I mourn the loss of a 5-year-old girl murdered in her bed last month. These are disgusting acts of violence that have no place in our communities. As a mother and grandmother, I cannot fathom the depth of these losses, and their effects will be felt by families, friends and communities forever. I send my most sincere condolences to the loved ones of both of these children.
“The time for standard measures has passed. Today I am declaring gun violence a public health emergency in New Mexico.
“This administration has done meaningful work to pass legislation, support law enforcement and significantly increase public safety resources to curb violence.
“But it is clear that we need to do more.
“I want to know that local officials are giving the epidemic of gun violence the attention it deserves. I want to know that every parent is making sure their guns are locked up. I want to know that district attorneys and judges are using every tool at their disposal to hold bad actors accountable. I want to know that every gun store is not allowing straw purchases. I want to know that every law enforcement agency is using our red flag law.
“But until that happens in every community in our state, New Mexicans will continue to die. We must hold each other to a higher standard for the sake of our children.
“To my fellow citizens: get loud. Step up. Demand change: from your neighbors, from your friends, from your communities, from your elected leaders. Enough is enough.
“I’ll be providing more details on this public health emergency tomorrow alongside law enforcement and criminal justice leadership.”
The governor called a meeting tomorrow to determine immediate steps that will be taken to crack down further on gun violence in New Mexico communities.
“Mayor Keller, I am again urging you to take every possible action to stem the flow of illegal drugs and guns into your city and stop them from getting into the wrong hands. Attorney General Garland, I have asked you—in fact begged you—to send additional federal agents to New Mexico on multiple occasions, only to be met with deafening silence.”
The Executive Order provides $750,000 to state agencies for the purposes of quickly reducing gun violence and encourages mayors, sheriffs and other officials to request additional emergency funding from the state as well.
Gov. Lujan Grisham has asked the federal government to deploy additional resources to New Mexico since June of 2022. On Thursday the governor sent a fourth letter to the U.S. Department of Justice – urging them to send immediate resources to New Mexico to assist in stemming the tide of violent crime. She has regularly sent these letters over the course of the last year without action from the Department of Justice.
The Executive Order and letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland are attached.