In September 2016, an Alamogordo Police Officer was out on a routine evening foot patrol with his partner when they spotted 38-year-old Joseph Moreno near a trailer park. Moreno was easily recognizable—he was tall, burly, with a thick goatee and distinctive facial tattoos, and he was also a fugitive.CBS News, “Officer gunned down in New Mexico by face-tattooed suspect,” September 2, 2016, available at:http://cbsn.ws/2fLTc52
When the officers approached Moreno, he fled on foot toward a nearby alley. As the officers caught up to him, Moreno pulled a .357 caliber revolver from a bag, turned, and fired multiple shots, hitting an officer once in the chest.KFOX-14, “Suspect involved in Alamogordo shooting fired several rounds at officers, killing one”, September 5, 2016, available at: http://bit.ly/2gIY0tT. The officer’s partner returned fire, hitting Moreno once in the head and killing him instantly. The injured officer, born and raised in Alamogordo and a four-year veteran of the department, was rushed to a local hospital. He died the following morning. He was 33.
Joseph Moreno should never have had a gun. He was prohibited by federal and New Mexico law from buying or possessing a firearm because of his extensive criminal history—he had been in and out of prison for over a decade, and in 2012 was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.State of New Mexico vs. Joseph A Moreno, case no. D-1215-CR-201200014, filed on January 5, 2012, in Alamogordo District Court.
Even though it was illegal for Moreno to have a gun because of his dangerous criminal record, he managed to get one. Investigators haven’t released information on the source of Moreno’s gun, but when anyone other than a gun dealer sells a gun in New Mexico, no background check is required for that sale—and that means that someone with a criminal record like Moreno’s can easily purchase a firearm from a law-abiding gun owner without undergoing a background check.
Gun violence is a persistent threat to law enforcement officers across the country—FBI data indicates that dozens of officers are shot and killed every year. In fact, in 2016 alone, over 50 police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty across the country, and over 200 were shot and injured.Everytown for Gun Safety. “Assaultive Shootings of Police Officers, 2016.” December 1, 2016. http://bit.ly/2he7Ff4.
New Mexico law enforcement officers are at especially high risk of being shot in the line of duty. Over the last 30 years, at least 16 law enforcement officers in New Mexico were killed in the line of duty with guns that were not their own.Everytown identified every law enforcement line of duty gun death in New Mexico between January 1987 and December 2016. Incidents were drawn from a list of law enforcement deaths in: Bullis, Don. New Mexico’s Finest: Peace Officers Killed in the Line of Duty, 1847-2010. Fourth ed. Los Ranchos, NM: Rio Grande Books, 2010. and via media reports. For each included incident, Every- town reviewed publicly available media reports, subscription-based news databases, and, when available, police and court records, to develop further information on the incident, and the prior criminal history of the alleged perpe- trator. The 16 shootings exclude an additional law enforcement gun death that was never determined to be a homicide - in May 1988, a Mountainair Officer was found dead in the Mountainair police station with one gunshot wound to the head from his own revolver. Investigations by the New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI failed to determine the nature of the incident. And in 2015—the latest year for which government data is available—New Mexico had the highest rate of such shootings of any state in the country, nearly eleven times higher than the national average.“About Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2015.” 2015. Washing- ton, DC: FBI, 2016. http://bit.ly/2hB9geh. and United States Census Bureau. Government Employment & Payroll. Suitland, Maryland: United States Census Bureau, 2015. http://bit.ly/2hMX3Bs.
While no single law can completely stop gun violence or ensure officers’ safety, strong gun laws that help reduce the flow of guns to individuals with dangerous histories can help save officers’ lives. That’s why federal and state law prohibits certain categories of dangerous people from possessing firearms, including felons, domestic abusers, and people with severe mental illness.
To buy a gun from a licensed gun dealer, a purchaser must first undergo an instant criminal background check to ensure that he or she is not prohibited from having firearms. In New Mexico, this system has blocked over 26,000 sales over the last ten years to felons, domestic abusers, fugitives, and other people who are not allowed to have guns.Everytown for Gun Safety. “Gun Violence and Background Checks in New Mexico.” August 2016, http://every.tw/2hr9y5F.
But there is a loophole in the law that makes it easy for people who are prohibited from buying or possessing guns, to avoid background checks. In New Mexico, background checks are only required for sales at licensed firearm dealers, so dangerous people can buy guns from law-abiding unlicensed sellers, including strangers they meet online or at gun shows, with no background check, and no questions asked.
Strengthening New Mexico’s background check laws can save law enforcement officers’ lives. Everytown’s analysis of law enforcement officers shot and killed in New Mexico in the last decade shows that the vast majority of shooters in those incidents—80 percent—were likely prohibited from buying or possessing firearms at the time of the incident but were able to acquire them anyway, with deadly consequences.The 16 officers shot and killed in the line of duty with guns not their own in New Mexico from January 1987-December 2016 were shot and killed by 14 unique shooters. Eight of the 14 shooters were likely prohibited from buying or possessing guns at the time of the incident. During the full thirty year period reviewed in this census, the same pattern holds true: the majority of shooters, 57 percent, were likely prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing firearms at the time they fatally shot an officer.
Closing this loophole is essential to protect cops: In states that require background checks for all gun sales, 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers are shot to death in the line of duty than in states without background checks.Everytown for Gun Safety analysis of FBI and US Census data, forthcoming.
After the shooting of the Alamogordo officer, Governor Susana Martinez called for change: “The violence against our police officers has to end,” the Governor said, “and we must do everything we can to stand up for those who put their lives on the line every single day to protect us.”Fieldstadt, Elisha. “Cop Fatally Shot in New Mexico, 2nd Officer Killed in 3 Weeks.” NBC News, September 3, 2016. http://nbcnews.to/2gxTlup. This spring, Governor Martinez and New Mexico legislators can deliver on that pledge by joining 19 other states and closing the background check loophole within their borders, requiring background checks on all gun sales, whether from a licensed gun dealer, at a gun show, or initiated online.
This common-sense measure—closing a loophole that makes it easy for people with criminal records to arm themselves by purchasing guns from unsuspecting sellers, no background check required—is supported by 87 percent of New Mexicans.Research & Polling, Inc., Poll for Everytown for Gun Safety, January 2017, available at: http://every.tw/2jSy5l2.
September 2, 2016, Alamogordo
Joseph Moreno, 38, shot and killed an Alamogordo Police Officer, 33, a four-year veteran, before he was shot and killed by the officer’s partner. According to news reports, the two officers were on patrol when they encountered Moreno, who had an active warrant out for his arrest. The officers briefly chased Moreno on foot before Moreno turned and fired at the officers. Moreno hit one officer in the chest, while his partner shot Moreno, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The injured officer was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.Gonzalez, Jessica. “Suspect Involved in Alamogordo Shooting Fired Several Rounds at Officers, Killing One of T.” KFOX 14 (KFOX), September 5, 2016. http:// kfoxtv.com/news/local/suspect-involved-in-alamogordo-shooting-fired-sev- eral-rounds-at-officers-killing-one-of-t. Moreno was likely prohibited from possessing firearms by both federal and New Mexico law at the time of the incident: he had a long criminal history, including a 2012 conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.State of New Mexico vs. Joseph A Moreno, case no. D-1215-CR-201200014, filed on January 5, 2012, in Alamogordo District Court.
August 12, 2016, Hatch
Jesse Hanes, 38, allegedly shot and killed a Hatch Police Officer, a two-year veteran, during a traffic stop. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court,Criminal Complaint, U.S. v. Hanes, 2:16-mj-03195 (D.N.M.). the officer pulled over Hanes, who was driving with another unidentified man, and as the officer approached the driver’s side window, Hanes fired a handgun out the window, hitting the officer in the chest and head.López, Carlos Andres. “Hatch Police Officer Shot and Killed; Suspects in Custody.” Las Cruces Sun-News, August 16, 2016. http://bit.ly/2gIY0tT. Hanes fled the scene and was arrested a short time later after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh, and was reportedly charged by the state of New Mexico with willful and deliberate first-degree murder. Separately, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted carjacking, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.Warren, Jamie. “Grand Jury Indicts Jesse Hanes on Federal Firearms, Carjacking Charges.” ABC News (KVIA), August 25, 2016. http://bit.ly/2iia09d. He is awaiting trials on the various charges. Hanes was likely prohibited from possessing firearms under both federal and New Mexico law at the time of the incident: he was convicted in 1995 of felony involuntary manslaughter in Ohio.State of Ohio vs. Jesse D. Hanes, case no. 95CR-02-861, filed on January 3, 1995, in Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, OH, Criminal Division. He was also reportedly wanted at the time of the incident in connection with the July 25, 2016 shooting death of a 62-year-old man near Chillicothe, OH.Nealeigh, Sara. “Men Wanted in Ross County in Custody in New Mexico.” Chillicothe Gazette, August 13, 2016. http://ohne.ws/2ieElTu
October 21, 2015, Albuquerque
Following a traffic stop, Davon Lymon, 34, allegedly shot and killed an Albuquerque Police Officer, 47, an eight-year veteran. According to a criminal complaint and news reports, the officer pulled over Lymon’s motorcycle after noticing stolen license plates on the vehicle. The officer approached the motorcycle, questioned Lymon, and went to handcuff him. After the officer got one handcuff on Lymon’s wrist, Lymon shook free of the officer, drew a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun from a side-pack on the motorcycle, and fired six shots, hitting the officer twice, in the chin and forehead. Lymon then fled the scene on foot, abandoning his handgun in a parking lot and hiding in a garden shed in a private backyard. The officer was taken to an area hospital, where he died eight days later.Helsel, Phil. “Albuquerque Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop Dies.” NBC News October 29, 2015.http://nbcnews.to/2hr9kvk. After a four-hour manhunt, Albuquerque Police tracked Lymon to the shed, and arrested him. Lymon was reportedly indicted on one count of first-degree murder by a Bernalillo County grand jury in December 2016. He is awaiting trial on that charge. Separately, he was found guilty in a federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm in October 2016.Gallagher, Mike. “Updated: Lymon Indicted in Killing of Officer.” Albuquerque Journal, December 23, 2016. http://bit.ly/2httXbC. Lymon was prohibited from possessing firearms under both federal and New Mexico law at the time of the incident: in 2001, he pled guilty to felony voluntary manslaughter and felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily harm.State of New Mexico vs. Lymon Davon, case no. D-202-CR-200102659, filed on January 25, 2001, in Albuquerque District Court.
May 25, 2015, Rio Rancho
Andrew Romero, 28, shot and killed a Rio Rancho Police Officer, 49, during a routine traffic stop. An unidentified woman believed to be Romero’s girlfriend was driving the vehicle. According to news reports, after giving the officer identification, the two attempted to drive away. The officer was able to stop the vehicle, and as he approached the vehicle, Romero shot him three times in the upper and lower torso. The officer was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead.Springer, Mike. “Fallen Rio Rancho Officer Was Hit in Upper, Lower Torso.” ABC News(KOAT), May 26, 2015. http://bit.ly/2gF073I. Romero was arrested without further incident the following day. He was convicted in September 2016 of first-degree murder.Boetel, Ryan. “Updated: Guilty Verdict in Officer’s Benner’s Death.” Albuquerque Journal, September 23, 2016. http://bit.ly/2hpijLD. Romero was likely prohibited from possessing firearms under both federal and New Mexico law due to an extensive criminal history, including a 2012 guilty plea to felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.State of New Mexico vs. Andrew Romero, case no. D-412-CR-0201200160, filed on August 14, 2012, in San Miguel County District Court.
July 16, 2009, Sandoval County
Joseph Henry Burgess, 62, shot and killed a Sandoval County Sheriff’s Sergeant, 46, a 26-year veteran of the department, during a stakeout. According to news reports, the sergeant and his partner, a deputy, were on a stakeout in a cabin in the Jemez Mountains when Burgess broke into the cabin in the early morning. The officers managed to handcuff Burgess. However, while handcuffed, Burgess was able to pull a .357-caliber handgun from his waistband and fire two shots, hitting the sergeant in the groin and hand. The sergeant returned fire and hit Burgess twice in the head. The sergeant was airlifted to an area hospital and died hours later. Burgess was pronounced dead at the scene.ABC News. “Deputy Killed in Jemez Stakeout.” (KOAT), July 17, 2009. http://bit.ly/2iF4Yny. Though Burgess was suspected in at least five murders across Canada, California, and New Mexico at the time of the incident,ABC News. “Police Identify ‘Cookie Bandit.’”, (KOAT), July 20, 2009, http://bit.ly/2ir0vl0. there is no evidence he was ever formally charged with a prohibiting crime, and was likely not prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the incident.
March 22, 2006, Tijeras
Shortly after midnight, a Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff pulled over a pickup truck for speeding. According to incident reports obtained by Everytown, as the Deputy Sheriff approached the driver’s side of the truck, the driver, 31-year-old Michael Astorga, pulled out a handgun and fired two shots at the Deputy Sheriff, hitting him twice in the head and neck, before fleeing the scene. Responding emergency officers pronounced the Deputy Sheriff dead at the scene. Mexican authorities arrested Astorga one month later in Juarez, Mexico. Astorga was extradited to the United States, where he was charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of tampering with evidence, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was convicted of all charges and sentenced to life in prison in 2010.Sandlin, Scott and Olivier Uyttebrouck. “Astorga Convicted of Killing Sheriff’s Deputy.” Albuquerque Journal, June 5, 2010. http://bit.ly/2ieU9FQ; and Laflin, Nancy. “Cop killer to remain imprisoned.” KOAT, February 16, 2015.http://bit.ly/2iJEY6E. Astorga was likely prohibited from possessing firearms under both federal and New Mexico law at the time of the incident: in 1998, he was sentenced to 20.5 years in prison (nine of which were suspended at sentencing) for multiple felony convictions, including trafficking heroin, trafficking cocaine, and receiving a stolen vehicle. State of New Mexico vs. Michael Astorga, case no. D-202-CR-199703086, filed on September 25, 1997, in Albuquerque District Court.
August 18, 2005, Albuquerque
John Hyde, 48, allegedly shot and killed two Albuquerque Police Officers, 50 and 46, both 22-year veterans of the department, after shooting and killing three other people earlier in the day. According to news reports, Hyde was a frequent patient at an area hospital, and earlier in the day had made a number of threats against hospital employees, who asked police to issue a pick-up order. When the officers arrived at Hyde’s home, he reportedly met them at the front door and immediately fired multiple shots at the officers with a .45-caliber revolver, hitting one officer in the head, and the other officer in the head as he moved to assist the first officer. Both officers were pronounced dead at a local hospital. Hyde fled the scene on a motorcycle and was arrested a short time later after crashing the vehicle.Krueger, Joline Gutierrez. “ABQ’s Worst Day.” August 16, 2015,http://bit.ly/2iF5Xo2. Hyde was later linked to the shooting deaths of a New Mexico Department of Transportation worker; a 17 year-old and a 22 year-old, all of whom were found shot to death at various spots around Albuquerque earlier in the day.Da, Royale. “Daughter Remembers Dad Slain in Hyde Shooting.” ABC News (KOAT), August 19, 2015.http://bit.ly/2hposaF. Associated Press. “Judge Commits John Hyde To Mental Institution.” Albuquerque Journal, August 21, 2007.http://bit.ly/2hA0NcH. He was charged with five counts of murder, among other crimes, but was determined to be incompetent for trial and confined to a mental hospital.Velasquez, Anna. “John Hyde’s Brother Discusses Mass Shooter Warning Signs on ‘Katie.’” ABC News (KOAT), November 13, 2013.http://bit.ly/2iEY15V. Though Hyde reportedly suffers from paranoid schizophrenia,Blumenthal, Ralph and Dan Frosch. “An Officer Seen as a Hero Faces a Year Behind Bars.” The New York Times, March 17, 2006.http://nyti.ms/2irjlIJ. and federal law prohibits those involuntarily committed to a hospital for mental health reasons from buying or possessing firearms, there is no evidence that Hyde was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the incident.
December 18, 2004, Otero County
Earl Flippen, 38, shot and killed an Otero County Sheriff’s Deputy, 49, a five-year veteran, during a domestic disturbance call. According to news reports, the Deputy and his partner, were called to the scene after a witness reported shouting and a gunshot. Flippen was staked out in the backyard, and as the Deputy ran to the back of the house, Flippen shot him once in the head. The Deputy was pronounced dead at the scene. The Deputy’s partner then shot and killed Flippen, who was handcuffed at the time. He later pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a firearm and sentenced to one year in prison. Responders later found Flippen’s pregnant girlfriend shot to death and hidden in a closet inside the home.Blumenthal, Ralph and Dan Frosch. “An Officer Seen as a Hero Faces a Year Behind Bars.” The New York Times, March 17, 2006.http://nyti.ms/2irjlIJ. Flippen was likely prohibited from possessing firearms under both federal and New Mexico law at the time of the incident: in 1998 he pled guilty to felony receiving of stolen property and felony forgery.State of New Mexico vs. Flippen, case no. D-506-CR-1998-00260, filed on August 18, 1998, in 5th Judicial District Court in Lea County.
May 30, 2001, Gallup
Robert Kiro, 34, shot and killed a Gallup Police Officer, 23, a four-year veteran of the department, after the officer responded to a domestic violence call involving Kiro and his girlfriend. According to incident reports obtained by Everytown, the officer responded to the scene with his partner after the Gallup Police Department received a 911 call. When the officers arrived on the scene, Kiro’s girlfriend, his girlfriend’s ex-husband, and his girlfriend’s daughter had all fled the scene, but Kiro remained inside his home, sporadically firing shots out the window with a 9mm handgun. Kiro had allegedly been drinking and smoking crack cocaine at the time of the incident. Following a seven-hour standoff, a SWAT team, led by the responding officer, entered Kiro’s home, and Kiro fired multiple shots, hitting the responding officer in the chest, and the other officer in his bulletproof vest. The team retreated, and the injured officer was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Kiro was taken into custody and charged with an open count of murder, plus three counts of attempted murder, seven counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault on a household member, and child abuse. In 2004, Kiro pled guilty to second-degree murder, and was sentenced to 34 years in prison.ABC News. “Kiro Gets 34 Years For Killing Cop.” (KOAT), August 20, 2004,http://bit.ly/2ieGDlv. There is no evidence that Kiro was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the incident.
May 27, 1994, Bernalillo County
Stephen Mercer, 33, shot and killed a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Lieutenant, 51, a 19-year veteran, as the officer attempted to remove Mercer from his home and take him to a local hospital. According to incident reports obtained by Everytown, after Stephen Mercer reportedly assaulted his mother and required police intervention at his home on two separate occasions, his father, Joe Mercer, a former State Senator and one-time candidate for Governor, obtained a state order to have his son committed to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Albuquerque for evaluation, which the lieutenant and his partners were attempting to serve at the time of the incident. As the officers spoke with Stephen and Joe in their home, Stephen began pointing a handgun at himself and at the officers. Stephen then fired multiple shots, hitting his father once in the lung and the lieutenant twice in the chest and neck. The lieutenant’s partners fired multiple return shots, hitting Stephen 15 times. Stephen Mercer was pronounced dead at the scene, and Joe Mercer and the lieutenant were taken to a local hospital and died hours later. Despite the evaluation order, there is no evidence that Stephen Mercer was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the shooting.
July 9, 1992, Farmington
Kevin Ogden, 33, shot and killed a Farmington Community Service Officer, 39, a two-year veteran, outside of Ogden’s mother’s home. The officer was assigned to perform a check on the home, where Ogden was staying without permission. As the officer pulled her car into the home’s driveway, Ogden, according to news reports, approached the car and fired multiple shots through the car’s window with a shotgun, hitting the officer in the head, neck, and hand. The officer was pronounced dead at the scene. Ogden was arrested hours later without further incident.“The New Mexico Law Enforcement Memorial.” accessed December 1, 2016, http://bit.ly/2ieQY0M. He was convicted of first-degree murder in October 1994, and sentenced to life in prison.Albuquerque Journal/Associated Press,.“Ogden Ruled Guilty in Shooting.” October 25, 1994, http://bit.ly/2i8ujoP. Ogden was likely prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the incident: while most of his criminal records were destroyed by the state, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after killing the officer.State of New Mexico vs. Kevin Kean Ogden, case no. CR-92-455-4, filed August 20, 1992, in the Eleventh Judicial District Court, County of San Juan.
January 26, 1991, Chimayo
Ricky Abeyta, 28, shot and killed a Rio Arriba County Deputy Sheriff, 30, and a New Mexico State Police Officer, 35, as the two officers attempted to serve Abeyta with a restraining order that had been requested by Abeyta’s girlfriend. According to news reports, as the officers approached Abeyta’s home, he met the officers on his front porch with a rifle and immediately fired multiple shots, hitting the deputy sheriff in the head and the officer in the chest, before he fled the scene. Both officers were pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency responders also found Abeyta’s girlfriend, 36; her sister, 25; her daughter, 19; her daughter’s boyfriend, 21; and her 6-month-old grandson shot to death in the home.Feldman, Paul. “Suspect in Slayings of 7 in New Mexico Could Face Death: Crime: Ricky Abeyta Is Arraigned on Three Counts of Murder. More Charges Are Expected to Be Filed This Week.” Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1991.http://lat.ms/2ieMI1y. Abeyta surrendered himself at a local police station the following day, and was convicted of the murders and sentenced to 146 years in prison.Thoren, Laura. “Chimayo Massacre Victim Remembered.” ABC News (KOAT), January 27, 2015.http://bit.ly/2iFbZ3S. There is no evidence that Abeyta was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the shooting.
July 13, 1988, Mesilla
After being stopped for speeding, Raymond Clark, 27, shot and killed a sergeant, 54, a six-year veteran of the Mesilla Marshal’s Office. According to incident reports obtained by Everytown, Clark and an accomplice were fleeing after allegedly robbing the E-Z Pawn Shop in Las Cruces when the sergeant pulled the men over. As the sergeant approached the driver’s side window of Clark’s car, Clark fired multiple shots out the window, hitting the sergeant in the chest. The sergeant was pronounced dead at the scene. Clark and Carreon fled the scene, and were arrested separately hours later. Clark was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the shooting: while records related to his criminal history have been destroyed by the state, when Clark was later convicted of murder in the shooting of the sergeant, he pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.State of New Mexico vs. Raymond Clark and Angel Carreon, case no. CR-88-272, filed August 18, 1988, in the Third Judicial District Court, County of Dona Ana.
February 22, 1987, Albuquerque
Merrill Burrows Chamberlin, 47, shot and killed an Albuquerque Police Officer, 27, a six-year veteran of the department, inside Chamberlin’s home after the officer responded to a domestic violence call. According to news reports, the officer and his partner were called to Chamberlin’s home by an unidentified woman, who told the 911 operators that Chamberlin had beaten her. When the officers arrived, Chamberlin, a physicist at Sandia Laboratories, told the officers there was no woman in the home. After the officers entered his home, Chamberlin pulled a 9mm handgun from a briefcase and fired at the officers multiple times, hitting one officer in the chest. The injured officer was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. Chamberlin surrendered soon after.Gallagher, Mike. “Danger Is a Daily Reality for APD Officers.” Albuquerque Journal, May 27, 2014. http://bit.ly/2if12aa. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.Gallagher, Mike. “Danger Is a Daily Reality for APD Officers.” Albuquerque Journal, May 27, 2014. http://bit.ly/2if12aa. There is no evidence that Chamberlin was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the incident.