(U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich meets with students from Aztec and Santa Fe High Schools in advance of the March for Our Lives, March 23, 2018. Download more photos here.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) met with high school students from Aztec and Santa Fe who traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the March for Our Lives rally to end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools.
The students shared compelling stories about how gun violence is impacting their lives and communities, and expressed the constant stress and fear they feel while they’re at school. They also discussed solutions to preventing future gun violence tragedies, rejecting the idea of arming teachers at schools and calling for more resources for mental health professionals and social workers.
“As the father of two young boys, I have been deeply moved by the students and young people in New Mexico and across the nation who have spoken out after losing classmates and friends to gun violence. Every student should feel safe at school, and no parent should have to live in fear of their child not coming home. New Mexicans are calling for change and I stand with them,” said Senator Heinrich. “We can all agree that we have an epidemic of gun violence in this country that has touched far too many of us. We can no longer accept these horrific shootings—or the estimated 91 Americans killed each day by gun violence—as the status quo. Student voices have been the single biggest thing to change the conversation. Together, despite the odds, we can continue to fight for real solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities.”
Senator Heinrich shared his commitment to fighting for real solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities. Senator Heinrich recently cosponsored the STOP School Violence Act, bipartisan legislation that funds school security improvements and invests in early intervention and prevention programs through the Department of Justice to stop school violence before it happens.
Earlier this month, Senator Heinrich introduced bipartisan legislation to prohibit the sale of bump stock devices and other mechanisms which allow semi-automatic firearms to materially increase their rate of fire and effectively operate as fully automatic weapons. Senator Heinrich is also a cosponsor of the bipartisan Fix NICS Act to improve the background check system for firearms purchases. Senator Heinrich has also led the call torepeal the Dickey Amendment to ensure the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can research gun violence and its effects on public health.
Funding for some of these priorities were included in the spending bill that was signed into law today, including provisions from the STOP School Violence Act and FIX NICS Act.