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ADVISORY: Heinrich to Host Press Conference Announcing New Efforts to Tackle Gun Violence, Convene Roundtable Conversation with Educators on Housing Affordability, Hold Military Academy Nomination Ceremony in Albuquerque, & Celebrate Community Effort to Protect Buffalo Tract in Placitas

ALBUQUERQUE & PLACITAS — On Monday, May 6, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will host a number of events in Albuquerque highlighting his work to tackle gun violence, expand affordable housing through recently introduced legislation, and nominate future leaders of our military to service academies of their choosing. Additionally, Heinrich will host a community celebration in Placitas cheering the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decision to protect the Buffalo Tract from mining.  

Monday, May 6

Press Conference to Announce New Ballistics Testing Machines to Tackle Gun Violence in New Mexico  

At 9:50 a.m. MT, Heinrich will convene a press conference with Attorney General Raúl Torrez and Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart to announce over $1 million secured through FY24 government funding legislation to purchase NIBIN ballistics testing machines for Las Cruces, Farmington, Gallup and Roswell. These machines will be essential to expanding New Mexico’s law enforcement’s capacity to keep New Mexicans safe from gun violence.  

WHEN: 9:50 a.m. MT 

WHERE: Albuquerque. Location provided upon RSVP. 

WHO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich 

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez 

Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart 

RSVP: Here.  

BACKGROUND: In March, with the passage of the twelve bipartisan Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) appropriations bills, Heinrich announced that he successfully secured language to expand the use of the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) for state and local agencies in the Southwest Border region. This expansion will provide New Mexico four additional ballistic testing machines in Las Cruces, Farmington, Gallup and Roswell, which will dramatically improve law enforcement’s ability to identify and prosecute crimes involving firearms through ballistic intelligence. Currently, there exists only three NIBIN machines in New Mexico: two in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe. 

All of the intelligence gathered would go to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center where dedicated and trained analysts would use the information to trace and network firearms used in crimes across the state. The Center would then be able to feed that information back to law enforcement agencies to improve identification of suspects and successful prosecutions. 

This legislation is the latest action taken by Heinrich to fight gun violence and get guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others. 

In November 2023, Heinrich introduced the Gas-Operated Semi-Automatic Firearms Exclusion Act (GOSAFE) Act. The GOSAFE Act is designed to protect communities from gun violence, while safeguarding Americans’ constitutional right to own a firearm for legitimate self-defense, hunting, and sporting purposes.    

In July 2023, Heinrich cosponsored the bicameral Ghost Guns and Untraceable Firearms Act. This legislation would require online and other sellers of gun-making kits to comply with federal firearm safety regulations.  

In June 2023, Heinrich introduced the BUMP Act, legislation to prohibit the sale of bump stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic firearms to increase their rate of fire and effectively operate as fully automatic weapons.   

Heinrich was also a member of the core bipartisan group that negotiated the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—the first significant federal gun safety legislation in 30 years— specifically leading the successful effort to stop illegal gun trafficking across our borders and to increase criminal penalties for straw purchasing.   

Roundtable Conversation & Media Availability to Discuss Work to Grow Affordable Housing with New Mexico Educators

At 11:00 a.m. MT, Heinrich will host a roundtable conversation with local educators and Homewise to discuss his efforts to expand affordable housing for working families in New Mexico. During the discussion, Heinrich will announce legislation he will introduce, the Educator Down Payment Assistance Act, designed to support homeownership for educators and school staff. Heinrich will also highlight his First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Act, legislation to bring home ownership into reach for more New Mexicans through a tax cut.  

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. MT 

WHERE: Albuquerque. Location provided upon RSVP.  

WHO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich 

Homewise Leadership  

Local Educators 

RSVP: Here

BACKGROUND: Heinrich is a tireless advocate in the Senate to expand affordable housing for working families in New Mexico.  

Recently, Heinrich introduced the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Act, legislation to support homeownership among lower- and middle-income Americans by establishing a refundable tax credit worth up to 10 percent of a home’s purchase price – up to a maximum of $15,000 – for first-time homebuyers. 

In March, Heinrich cosponsored the Housing for All Act, comprehensive legislation to expand access to affordable housing in New Mexico and supporting those experiencing homelessness.    

Last year, Heinrich introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, which would help build over 14,000 new affordable homes in New Mexico over the next decade, generating over $2.5 billion in wages and business income. The legislation would support the financing of more affordable housing by expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, our country’s most successful affordable housing program.    

Heinrich also introduced the Delivering Essential Protection, Opportunity, and Security for Tenants (DEPOSIT) Act, which would help an estimated 12,000 New Mexican families access rental housing through the Housing Choice Voucher Program to pay security deposits and get into a rental home. 

Last month, Heinrich introduced the Retaining Educators Takes Added Investment Now (RETAIN) Act to improve teacher pay and retention in high-need schools and address the educator shortage in New Mexico. 

Community Celebration of BLM Decision to Protect Buffalo Tract from Future Mining

At 1:45 p.m. MT, Heinrich will convene a celebration with local community members, land grants and Pueblos to commemorate their successful decades long work to protect the Buffalo Tract from mining with BLM’s finalized proposal announced in April. 

WHEN: 1:45 p.m. MT 

WHERE: Placitas. Location provided upon RSVP.  

WHO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich 

RSVP: Here

Military Academy Nomination Ceremony

At 3:30 p.m. MT, Heinrich will host a Military Academy Nomination Ceremony with the high school seniors his office nominated to attend one of the four U.S. service academies: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy. 

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. MT 

WHERE: Albuquerque. Location provided upon RSVP.  

WHO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich 

RSVP: Here

BACKGROUND: Each year, members of Congress have the opportunity to nominate high school students and recent graduates for appointment to four of the five U.S. service academies: U.S. Military Academy (USMA), West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, Md.; the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, Colo.; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, N.Y. During this ceremony, Heinrich will announce the students his office has nominated to the four service academies.