ICYMI: Arrests, gun seizures up: Governor’s public health order on gun violence yielding real results
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced during a press conference on Monday the significant results of crime-fighting efforts that have been made since declaring gun violence a public health emergency in September.
“The data tells us that the public health order is working, but we are not out of the woods yet. Until our families, businesses and communities are safer, we will continue this momentum to drive down violent crime in Albuquerque and around the state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
As part of a concerted and ongoing operation since the public health order was implemented, arrests in Albuquerque have doubled from 502 to 1,006. Of those arrests, 36% were for violent and/or gun-related crimes.
Among those arrested is Jordan Barwinas (pictured at left), a repeat violent offender who is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, failing to register as a sex offender and receiving/transferring a stolen motor vehicle. Freddy Valenzuela (pictured at right) was arrested on November 10 and is charged with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13 and has a lengthy violent criminal history. Both men remain in custody.
HUNDREDS OF GUNS SEIZED AND SURRENDERED
Getting guns off the streets is critical as part of efforts to reduce gun violence. Law enforcement partners have seized 219 guns since the implementation of the public health order, with a 275% increase from September to November.
Pictured below are firearms seized from one suspect during the operation.
State Police collected 439 guns at gun buyback events in Albuquerque, Espanola and Las Cruces. Additional events are being planned for Jan. 6, 2024, in Albuquerque, Española, Farmington and Las Cruces.
The state Department of Health continues to offer free gun locks to New Mexicans. Since July 1, nearly 16,000 locks have been distributed. Locks are available at safestoragenm.org.