Clovis shooting sparks push to hold parents accountable for securing guns

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Prevention says the deadly shooting last week at a Clovis library is a reminder that New Mexico should hold parents accountable when kids use their guns to hurt people.

However, gun rights advocates say more laws are not the answer.

The push follows the shooting spree at the library that killed two people and injured four others.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve taught your kids to be respectful of guns. They need to be locked up,” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.

She says New Mexico should have a law to charge adults for negligence when their kids do harm with their guns.

“Had he not had access to those firearms, we wouldn’t have seen this mass shooting.”

Nathaniel Jouett, 16, is behind bars after he told police he took two handguns from his dad’s safe at home and opened fire in the library.

His girlfriend says Jouett was bullied and went to counseling, and investigators found notes in his room showing he was suicidal.

Still, not everyone thinks charging parents is the answer.

“A 16-year-old is well aware of what decisions they’re making and if they’re choosing to get into a safe, you know, I think that it’s kind of on them,” said Andoquio Lucero.

The National Rifle Association said New Mexico already has laws to hold parents accountable for endangering their child’s life, that they don’t need to be specific to guns.

It said piling on more gun control laws will only make it harder for law-abiding New Mexicans to protect themselves.

D.C. and 27 states currently have child access prevention laws.

New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence said it will push for new legislation, but the organization acknowledges that it’s an uphill battle.

“Trying to get bills passed on gun violence prevention in this state is excruciatingly slow,” Viscoli said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen in my lifetime.”

A proposal like that did make it to the Roundhouse two years ago, but it was postponed indefinitely in committee.

KRQE News 13 also reached out to Senators typically vocal about gun rights and a couple of local gun shops. They either didn’t get back to us or declined to speak on camera on this issue.

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