SANTA FE, New Mexico Over objections from all but a few New Mexico county sheriffs, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed into law a red flag gun bill that will allow firearms to be temporarily taken away from those deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
The Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act, which takes effect in mid-May, will make New Mexico the 18th state to enact such a law.
If we can make a difference for one person, thats the right difference to make, Lujan Grisham said during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol.
The Democratic governor made the red flag gun bill one of her top initiatives during the 30-day legislative session that ended last week and predicted the new law would reduce New Mexicos high rates of firearm-related deaths, including suicides.
We know this is a meaningful tool to address gun violence, Lujan Grisham said Tuesday.
However, the red flag gun measure, Senate Bill 5, was fiercely opposed by Republican lawmakers during this years session, and several New Mexico counties have passed resolutions opposing it.
Some sheriffs have indicated they might not enforce the bill, citing concerns over constitutional due process issues.
Theyve made this bill so horrible that we cant (enforce it), Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace told the Journal. Somebody hasnt even committed a crime, and youre taking their personal property.
Mace, chairman of the New Mexico Sheriffs Association, said a court challenge will be filed before the law takes effect in an attempt to block it from being implemented.
Asked Tuesday about the sheriffs resistance, Lujan Grisham said the elected law enforcement officials should resign if theyre not willing to enforce the states laws.
They have to enforce the law. They take an oath to do that, she said. You dont get to make those decisions.
However, she suggested her administration would not retaliate by withholding funding from any counties that do not enforce the law, while adding that she believes law enforcement officers will ultimately decide to do so.
Edited by steveTA84, 26 February 2020 - 03:13 PM.