Rio Rancho law makes it illegal to throw snowballs

New Mexico News

For many, winter weather and a day off is the perfect combination for a snowball fight, but in one New Mexico city, throwing a snowball is against the law.

It’s the City of Vision.

Chris Baker has lived in Rio Rancho for more than 50-years.

“Since 1967. I was a teenager,” she says.

She remembers seeing a lot more snow during her younger years.

“We would go tubing up in the mountains, that was a fun thing to do. Build snowmen. Have snowball fights, yeah!” Baker says.

For those of you thinking of channeling your inner Buddy the Elf within Rio Rancho city limits, you might want to think again.

“The City of Rio Rancho has a projection of missiles ordinance, which covers the throwing, slinging, catapulting of any snowball, rock, arrow, bb,” says Rio Rancho Police Captain Ron Vigil.

The law was enacted in 1981. Residents like Baker had no idea.

“My goodness! I better tell my grandchildren!” she says.

Rio Rancho Police say it’s something they almost never enforce.

“This ordinance is designed to protect individuals and property when an object is thrown, whether it be a snowball or a rock that’s likely to cause injury or damage,” says Cpt. Vigil.

In the last 5-years, Rio Rancho Police say they only know of one snowball assault. A student threw one at a teacher.

“That individual was issued a citation. The schools did work with the parents along with our officers,” says Cpt. Vigil.

That means you don’t have to worry about police citing you for having a snowball fight with willing participants.

“We want to encourage people to be safe if they do have a snowball fight if you will, make sure it’s done fun and safely,” he says.

It makes the rare sight of snow that much more enjoyable for Baker.

“I love it! It makes me feel like New York, that’s where I came from,” she says.

People caught throwing a snowball in an unsafe manner can get a ticket.

The misdemeanor carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90-days in jail.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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