Armstrong Bill to Keep Guns from DV Offenders Passes Senate Committee

Data Show Presence of Firearm Increases Likelihood of Death in Domestic Violence Incident

Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s bill to keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders, HB 87, is headed to its second Senate committee hearing after it passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee on Saturday by a vote of 4-2

“When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it is five times more likely that a woman will be killed,” Armstrong said. “HB 87 is a common-sense way to reduce gun violence in New Mexico.”

Armstrong’s bill, cosponsored and carried in the Senate by Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, makes it a misdemeanor for anyone convicted of domestic violence or under a restraining order to possess a firearm. The bill also provides a clear process for offenders to relinquish—and reclaim as appropriate—their firearms.

“Gun violence is devastating families,” Armstrong said, “and New Mexicans are saying enough is enough. We know that in states where people under restraining orders relinquish their guns, there is a 22-percent lower rate of intimate-partner death by firearm. It’s time we make New Mexico safer for families and children.”

HB 87 now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, is a long-time health care advocate serving her second term in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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