SB 5/HB 7 Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Act

Why NM Legislators Should Vote For SB 5/ HB 7

SB 5/ HB 7 Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Act

 

 

Summary:  Introduced by Senator Cervantes and Reps. Ely and Garratt, SB 5 Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order (ERPO) Act would allow police to legally remove firearms from individuals who are temporarily at a higher risk of violence towards themselves or others but who are not prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms. Guns are removed immediately, but then there would be a hearing within 15 days, and the removal could not last for more than a year without another hearing.

History: In 2019, HB 83 Extreme Risk Protection Order Act passed the House 39:30, passed Senate Public Affairs, and died in Senate Judiciary where it was never scheduled for a hearing.

Why It’s Important

  • Over the past 18 years, firearm death rates in New Mexico have been consistently higher than average U.S. rates. In 2017, the New Mexico firearm death rate was 53% higher than the U.S. rate.[1] Two-thirds (66.2 % from 2013-2017) of those firearm deaths were suicides.[2]
  • In Connecticut, where an extreme risk law is in place, research showed that from 1999 through 2013, 762 risk warrants were issued and in 99% of the cases firearms were found.[3] Police removed an average of 7 guns per individual. Researchers estimate that for every 10-20 risk warrants issued, one life was saved.[4]
  • According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, 42% of mass shooters exhibited warning signs. By reducing firearm access, an ERPO can create a safe opportunity for the subject to seek treatment and additional resources to address the root causes of their crisis. In Connecticut, nearly one-third of respondents received critical mental health and substance abuse treatment as a result of the extreme risk law intervention.[5]
  • Extreme risk laws have emerged as one of the most common responses to mass shootings across the country in the last decade. Americans support ERPO laws by as much as 77%, according to an August pollby American Public Media Research Lab.[6]
  • Currently, someone can be taken to the hospital for suicidal ideation and the police have no way to remove the firearm from their household before they are discharged.
  • As of September 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia have Extreme Risk-Style Laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Who opposes ERPOs and why?

NRA and sheriff‘s organizations oppose this law in New Mexico, claiming a violation of the 2nd Amendment.

What are the points made by the opposition?

Opposition point: The potential for abuse is high. A family member or ex-lover could file an extreme risk protection order to retaliate against someone.

Counterpoint: The laws typically contain safeguards for gun owners so that guns aren’t removed for reasons that are unfounded.

 

Opposition point:  ERPO laws start a slippery slope to more gun control.

Counterpoint:  Mass shootings and suicide by gun are a huge problem in the United States. This law addresses only this issue and does not affect stable, law-abiding gun owners.

 

Opposition point: These laws overstate the connection between gun violence and mental illness, propagating stigma and discouraging people from seeking mental health treatment.

Counterpoint:  Studies suggest that these interventions are most commonly used to prevent suicide and are effective at doing so. Urgent, individualized interventions to reduce firearm access provide a rapid, sharply focused response when risk for imminent firearm violence is high and alternative measures, such as arrest or psychiatric hospitalization, are inappropriate or have been ineffective.[7] 

 

Opposition point:  These laws deny due process.

Opposition point:  Extreme Risk Protection Orders rely on actions by judges or other judicial officers and include due process protections.[8]

 

Supporters

Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence 

Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

Everytown for Gun Safety

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Moms Demand Action

New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence

 

 

[1]   “Complete Health Indicator Report of Injury - Firearm Injury Deaths,” New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System (NM-IBIS). Retrieved from https://ibis.health.state.nm.us/indicator/complete_profile/InjuryFirearmDeath.html.

[2]   Ibid.

[3]  “Extreme Risk Laws,” The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from https://efsgv.org/extreme-risk-laws/.

[4]   Ibid.

[5]   “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Seattle, WA. Retrieved from https://gunresponsibility.org/solution/erpo/.

[6]   M. Vasilogambros, “Red Flag Laws Spur Debate Over Due Process,” Sept. 4, 2019, Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Retrieved from https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2019/09/04/red-flag-laws-spur-debate-over-due-process.

[7]  G. Wintemute MD, MPH, et al, “Extreme Risk Protection Orders Intended to Prevent Mass Shootings: A Case Series,” Nov. 5, 2019,  Annals of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved from https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2748711/extreme-risk-protection-orders-intended-prevent-mass-shootings-case-series.

[8]  Ibid.

 

Supporters

Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence 

Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

Everytown for Gun Safety

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Moms Demand Action

New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence

 

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