Controversial ‘red flag law’ passes the House, heads to governor’s desk

Politics - Government

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The House floor has passed Senate Bill 5: Extreme Risk Firearm Protection bill and will head to the Governor’s office to be signed into law. It passed the House floor by a vote of 39-31 on Thursday night.

The bill would allow law enforcement to petition the courts to temporarily remove someone’s guns, for up to ten days until a hearing, if they are a threat to themselves or others. If the courts feel that a person is still a threat, that ban could stretch out for a year.

“This law does not impact any gun abiding owner,” said Rep. Joy Garratt (D- Albuquerque). “Also in some of the situations involving families, this law might not ever be used. This is a tool, this is one tool in the toolbox for law enforcement officers.”

Backers of the bill said it could prevent mass shootings. Some lawmakers even got emotional, saying it could save the life of someone attempting suicide. Republicans fought tooth and nail to stop this legislation.

“I cannot support your bill,” said Rep. Gail Armstrong (R- Magdalena). “The counties that I represent feel this is a violation of so many amendments and a violation of just their livelihood.”

Republicans tried to amend the bill several times in hopes of sending it back to the Senate, but those attempts fell short. When it came down to a vote, Republicans held up a small version of the Constitution as a sign of resistance.

There were seven Democrats that crossed party lines: Harry Garcia, Raymundo Lara, Willie Madrid, Rudy Martinez, Patricio Ruiloba, Joseph Sanchez and Candie Sweetser.

In a press release, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement:

“This is a tremendous victory for New Mexicans’ public safety. This tool will empower law enforcement to keep our communities safer. It will minimize the plain and unacceptable risks of gun violence and suicide all across New Mexico. Lawmakers showed great courage tonight. I applaud them and am particularly grateful to Representatives Ely and Garratt for their willingness to stand up and lead on this common-sense measure. I look forward to signing it into law in short order. I look forward to continuing to invest in and support law enforcement officers and resources in our state. And I am very proud to say New Mexico is moving forward on balanced, responsible gun safety. Families in every corner of our state will benefit.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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