SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a red-flag gun bill Tuesday that will allow state district courts to order the temporary surrender of firearms, and she urged sheriffs to resign if they still refuse to enforce it.
Flanked by advocates for stricter gun control and supportive law enforcement officials at a signing ceremony, Lujan Grisham said the legislation provides law enforcement authorities with an urgently needed tool to deter deadly violence by temporarily removing firearms from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Some sheriffs from mostly rural areas opposed the bill in committee hearings as a violation of constitutional guarantees to due process, free speech and the right to bear arms. Public rallies were held for and against the legislation. U.S. News
New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association President Tony Mace of Cibola County said the new law goes too far by potentially impounding guns before any crime is committed and that he and other sheriffs will assert their discretion over its enforcement.
“We don’t work for the governor, we don’t work for the Legislature,” he said. “We work for the people that elected us into office.”
District Attorneys may be able to petition the courts, but it’s still going to be up to the sheriffs to serve the orders and confiscate firearms. Eventually, gun control advocates are going to have to accept that the law enforcement tasked with applying the law are almost uniformly opposed to the law being on the books in the first place.
This year’s red-flag legislation allows police and sheriffs’ deputies to petition a court for the surrender of household firearms within 48 hours from people who appear to pose a danger to themselves or others.
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