The head of the state department that oversees behavioral health services is at odds with Governor Susana Martinez’s administration over how to handle gun violence in local schools.
The Governor’s office and the Human Services Department have refused to comment on why Behavioral Health Services Division Director Wayne Lindstrom's recommendations to treat gun violence as a public health issue and tighten gun laws were not presented to lawmakers in March.
Lindstrom drafted a proposal calling for tightened restrictions on assault rifles and better support resources for students. His research was slated to be part of a series of presentations from around the state in response to the December shooting at Aztec High School where two students were killed.
His scheduled presentation before the Legislative Finance Committee never happened, and the slides for that presentation are buried on the legislature’s website. They don’t show up in searches.
Sources close to the situation say Lindstrom’s recommendations don’t align with the views of the Human Services Department or Governor Martinez and that he didn’t have permission to publish the presentation.
A spokesperson with HSD refused to comment on Lindstrom’s anti-gun violence work. Neither Lindstrom nor the Governor’s Office has replied to multiple requests for comment.
KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Con Alma Health Foundation.