NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Democratic state lawmakers have a new plan to tackle crime across the state. Many of the proposed new strategies focus on the biggest problems the state’s biggest city is having trouble fighting off. Seventeen Democratic lawmakers put together what they’re calling a comprehensive crime package. One of the top priorities is reducing gun violence.
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“We must reduce gun violence across the board and so I think reasonable laws on the books to encourage and ensure adults protect children from guns that they own is paramount,” said Rep. Moe Maestas (D-Albuquerque).
Rep. Maestas represents Albuquerque’s westside points to the shooting at Washington Middle School just a few weeks ago where a student is accused of taking his father’s gun from home and shooting and killing a classmate with it.
The package also wants to reduce high-capacity magazines like the one used to injure four Albuquerque Police officers last month. Another big-ticket item is making changes to pre-trial detention services. The Bernalillo County district attorney and APD have long been critical of what they call the ‘revolving door’ allowing repeat and sometimes violent criminals back out onto the streets while they await trial.
“Violent criminals should not be released. Those defendants that are released pretrial should be heavily supervised from the get-go. Those allegations of violent crimes need to be held until trial… so we’re going to be talking about that,” said Rep. Maestas.
The Democrats’ plan also wants to crack down on people who own or operate illegal chop shops which they say would stop the market for stolen vehicles. Rep. Maestas believes there will be bipartisan support for their crime package. He says they’ll be working on it across the aisle and with law enforcement over the next few months and expects it will pass in January.
House Republican Leader Jim Townsend responded with the following statement:
“Congratulations, New Mexico, the Democrats are finally thinking about fixing the rampant crime problem they created. We hope they are as serious about addressing crime as they have been about coddling criminals throughout our communities. We also hope they start to give law enforcement the credit and respect they deserve. The disregard Democrat legislators have for our officers is simply not conducive to turning things around.“House Republican Leader Jim Townsend (Artesia)