ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller is asking state lawmakers for help with the city’s massive crime problem. “We’ve got 900,000 people in the metro, we just want them to listen to those people who are saying loud and clear, we need help fighting crime,” said Keller.
Keller is backing a handful of crime-fighting bills this session, including House Bill 5, which if passed would put the burden on the defense to prove a suspect should be released while awaiting trial. “It’s important to stop the revolving door of violent crime,” Keller said.
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That bill passed its first committee Friday morning but there was some hesitation among lawmakers, even those who voted for it. “I would really implore the sponsor of this legislation to get a constitutional expert to look at this,” said Representative Greg Nibert. “To weigh in on whether or not we need to go back to the people with a constitutional amendment.”
Keller is also pushing a couple of gun laws, including one that would create harsher penalties for anyone brandishing a gun. And another that would hold parents accountable if their child uses their gun to commit a crime. “We’ve got to understand that the criminal justice system should hold folks accountable when a firearm is used,” said Keller. “That’s when life is lost most of the time.”
Keller is also asking for more funding to help tackle crime. He says if the crime bills don’t get passed, he’ll push for a special session to address the issue.