More and more states have passed “red flag” laws making it easier to take guns away from people who others claim to be suicidal or bent on violence against others, and courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country. The New Mexico legislature is considering such a bill along with three others. All of them are opposed by twenty-nine out of the thirty-three county sheriffs in New Mexico. The twenty-nine signed a public statement saying the new laws would not be effective.
The four bills represent a dangerous attack on Second Amendment Rights:
- House Bill 83, which would allow law enforcement to temporarily take away guns from people who are considered an imminent threat.
- House Bill 87, a plan to prohibit people under a protective order from buying guns.
- House Bill 130, a mandate for gun owners to store guns safely around children or face penalties.
- Senate Bill 8, which would require background checks for private firearms sales.
Although the vast majority of the Sheriffs in New Mexico oppose these four laws, state representative Joy Garratt said legislation like her House Bill 83 could have prevented massacres like the Parkland, Florida shooting last year. I suppose she believes that if someone is about to break the law by shooting up a High School, they won’t break the law by getting a firearm illegally. And Parkland is a lousy example there were already plenty of laws on the books that would have stopped the Parkland killer if only they’d been enforced by Sheriff Israel. Instead, they ignored multiple reports of domestic violence and let the killer’s rage build unchecked.
“You’re just taking guns out of law-abiding citizen’s hands,” Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton said. “This is not going to affect the criminals out there. They’re going to be able to get guns, and they do not follow the law.” Helton added that the four laws were either redundant or unconstitutional. And he won’t enforce the unconstitutional ones.“I’m proud to say I’m a constitutional sheriff and I’m just not going to enforce an unconstitutional law,” Helton said. “My oath prevents me from doing that.”
Grant County Sheriff Frank Gomez is joining with other New Mexico sheriffs in opposition the four anti-gun bills:
Basically, Gomez said he is against taking firearms from the homes of law-abiding citizens. “I’m not for the bills,” Gomez stated. “Maybe there needs to be more thorough background checks, but as for taking guns away from people, no, sir! It’s our constitutional right to have them.”
Gomez also stated that perhaps there needed to be more education regarding responsible gun ownership and the safe handling of firearms.
As far as gun shows are concerned, Gomez believes passing these more restrictive gun bills will only affect honest people, that criminals will still be able to get weapons. He agreed that those bent on criminal activity get their weapons on the street and black market, not at gun shows.
Many of these proposed pieces of legislation are really unenforceable, Gomez said
The twenty-nine sheriffs are proving that they believe in the constitution and the law rather than making a political point. I pray that the legislators listen to the sheriffs who are on the front lines fighting crime. If they don’t these legislators should all be voted out of office.
Below is a video of a news report about the Sheriffs’ statement.