New Mexico: Another Right-Wing Activist Opens Fire On ProtestorsJune 18, 2020
WASHINGTON — Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America released the following statement after members of a right-wing militia in Albuquerque, New Mexico opened fire Monday night at protesters demanding the removal of a statue of Juan de Oñate, injuring two individuals.
According to data compiled by Guns Down America, armed white intimidators — many wearing military gear and wielding military-style assault weapons — have been present at over 60 demonstrations nationwide since May 27th.
“Unfortunately, this incident is just the latest example of racist armed intimidation and gun violence during the nationwide movement to end racial injustice and police brutality,” said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America. “As the nation grapples with the reality that law enforcement officials too often use force (including firearms) indiscriminately and disproportionately against African Americans, and debates how to restructure police departments in order to reinvest police funds into social services and community priorities, we should also consider reforms that make it harder for civilians to obtain and wield deadly firearms. We must strengthen our nation’s gun laws to prohibit the kind of racist open carry intimidation we’re seeing in communities, outlaw military-style weapons from civilian hands, and raise the standard for gun ownership across the country. Firearms are inherently dangerous in almost anybody’s hands and we must work to build a future with fewer guns.”
Among recent gun incidents at protests:
- “Four people shot, two fatally, in Cicero [Illinois] Monday as unrest and protests over the killing of George Floyd continued for another day.” [WGN, 6/1/20]
- “Two people arrested after shots were fired following an argument between Black Lives Matter protesters and a Confederate group in Salisbury on Sunday have been charged.” [WBTV, 5/31/20]
- “An armed man was arrested overnight for allegedly impersonating a National Guard member….authorities told us 31-year-old Gregory Wong was taken into custody on assault weapon charges after being found with a cache of weapons.” [FOXLA.com, 6/3/20]
These incidents at protests come amid a surge of increased gun-buying during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As of May, the FBI ran 55% more firearm-related background checks in 2020 than we did by this point in 2019. In April, Americans bought about two million guns, marking the second-busiest month ever for gun sales. Panic-buying of firearms in response to coronavirus led to the sale of over 1,000,000 more firearms than are normally sold in March.
Guns Down America is a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America, and for making them dramatically harder to get.