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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

NM lawmakers move gun-control bills forward

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Thursday, February 1, 2024   

Gun control legislation is making headway in the 2024 New Mexico legislative session.

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Senate passed a bill to ban guns near polling places and drop boxes. Another bill already passed by a House legislative committee would raise the legal age to possess automatic firearms from 18 to 21.

Marshall Martinez, executive director of Equality New Mexico, said many in the LGBTQ community support a higher gun purchase age, but do not want it tied to more incarceration.

"We think that it's a good idea to say, 'No, you can wait until you're 21 to get a gun.' But we don't necessarily want a situation where a young person who ends up with access to a weapon is automatically put in jail," Martinez explained.

Republican lawmakers in the legislative minority have expressed opposition to the gun control measures, citing constitutionality among other concerns, while the governor said she supports them.

New Mexico's short 2024 legislative session is primarily focused on budget issues. To that end, Martinez emphasized he would like to see more money allocated in the state budget to address homelessness and build an infrastructure for mental and behavioral treatment. He noted LGBTQ individuals make up about 40% of the homeless population and need more support, not punishment.

"We know that homelessness and crime, or the appearance of crime, go hand in hand," Martinez observed. "And what we're looking for in this session is more initiatives to address those root causes like homelessness and poverty."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said taking into account all types of firearm injuries, including homicides, suicides and unintentional injuries, firearm injuries were the leading cause of death among children and teens in 2020 and 2021. New Mexico lawmakers have previously passed a child-access prevention law.

Disclosure: Equality New Mexico contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Human Rights/Racial Justice, LGBTQIA Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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