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PNS Daily Newscast - June 22, 2018 


GOP leadership puts its efforts to fix immigration on hold. Also on the Friday rundown: Florida students take their gun control message to the Midwest; and a call for renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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Record Attendance as "Moms Demand Action" on Gun Laws

No new gun-control bills were passed in the 2018 New Mexico Legislature, despite two students being killed by a school shooter last December in Aztec. (progressnownm)
No new gun-control bills were passed in the 2018 New Mexico Legislature, despite two students being killed by a school shooter last December in Aztec. (progressnownm)
March 5, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. - Standing room only is now the norm at meetings of "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America," following the school shooting that left 17 dead in Florida last month.

The group, which has a New Mexico chapter, was started in 2012 by Shannon Watts, after 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Watts said the group supports tougher background checks, limits on where guns can be carried, and "red flag laws" - laws that allow intervention when a person known to have guns is exhibiting signs of violence.

"Those laws allow police and families to petition a judge for a temporary restraining order that will remove the guns from someone who seems to be a danger to themselves or others," she said. "It could have been very effective in the state of Florida, for example."

She said only five states have "red flag laws," and noted that the Moms Demand Action meetings have brought hundreds of people together in New Mexico, Alabama, Missouri, Oregon and other states in recent days, with new chapters forming weekly.

Watts said she believes America is at a crossroads over gun control. She pointed to dozens of companies cutting their ties to the National Rifle Association, plus national school walkouts and a march on Washington scheduled for March 24. Watts said families now know "thoughts and prayers" for school-shooting victims are not enough.

"But we have to make sure this isn't just a moment and it is a movement, and that we are looking toward the midterm elections to effect real change," she said. "That requires everyone to get off the sidelines and support these teens. It's not up to them to change our country, it's up to all of us."

No new gun-control bills were passed in the recent New Mexico legislative session, despite two students' deaths in Aztec last December in a school shooting. However, U.S. Sen,. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., has renewed a push in Congress to overturn an amendment that prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding research into gun violence and public health.

The New Mexico chapter has an online presence at facebook.com/MomsDemandActionNM.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM