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Bill Focuses On Guns, Suicide Prevention

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Nearly 500 New Mexicans died by suicide in 2015, and more than half of those deaths involved a gun. Lawmakers are looking at decreasing gun-related suicides in the state through a new bill.

It’s called a red-flag law. If you’re living with somebody who’s showing suicidal or even homicidal behavior, this bill would let you alert authorities, and they could take that person’s guns away temporarily.

Representative Daymon Ely (D) of Corrales presented the bill.

“It saves people both in terms of harming others and overwhelmingly in harming themselves,” he said.


About a dozen other states have passed red-flag laws of their own. Connecticut was one of the first to do it, and their rate of gun-based suicides has gone down by 13 percent in the last decade.

Three other bills focused on gun control were also presented this week. One is about closing the state's "gun-show loophole" by strengthening background checks. Another would prevent people convicted of domestic abuse from buying a gun. And the third would punish gun owners if they fail to keep their weapons secure and out of the wrong hands.


  • People who want someone to talk to can text or call the warmline at 1-855-4NM-7100.

  • The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line number is 1-855-NMCRISIS.

  • There's also the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.

May joined KUNM's Public Health New Mexico team in early 2018. That same year, she established the New Mexico chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and received a fellowship from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She join Colorado Public Radio in late 2019.
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