SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Saturday likely won’t be the busiest day at the Roundhouse, but there are some interesting bills being discussed in committee. February 11, legislators are set to consider several gun bills.

Firearm offenses

There’s already been intense debate at the Roundhouse around gun bills. But Saturday, the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee is set to consider several bills to add criminal penalties to gun offenses.

They’ll consider House Bill 212, a bipartisan bill. The legislation would make it a fourth-degree felony to carry a firearm while trafficking drugs.

In essence, the bill acts as an enhancement for the crime of trafficking drugs, according to an analysis by the Legislative Finance Committee. If signed into law, the new criminal offense would go into effect in June of 2023.

Legislators will also consider House Bill 238, sponsored by a few Democratic legislators. The bill would make it a fourth-degree felony to discharge a gun in a densely populated area.

House Bill 224 is also up for debate. Sponsored by a few Democrats, the bill would make it a crime to carry a gun in a high-population area while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Carrying a gun while intoxicated is already a crime (petty misdemeanor), but this bill would impose a fourth-degree felony, according to an analysis by the Legislative Finance Committee.

In case you missed it: Patrick M. Allen as secretary of Department of Health

Recently, the New Mexico Senate confirmed Patrick Allen as the state’s next secretary of the Department of Health. He replaces the acting director, Dr. David Scrase.

Allen previously worked as the director of the Oregon Health Authority. There, he led the agency’s response to COVID-19 and guided Oregon’s statewide Medicaid plan and behavioral health system. For more info on Allen, check out this KRQE News 13 story.