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Red-flag gun bill heads to New Mexico governor for signature

red flag gun laws

SANTA FE, New Mexico — The Democrat-led New Mexico Legislature approved a red-flag gun law Thursday night with a final vote of the state House, virtually ensuring adoption of new procedures for courts to order the surrender of firearms from people who appear to pose a danger to themselves or others.

The House approved the bill on a 39-31 vote with Republicans and several Democrats in opposition, sending the bill to a supportive Democratic governor.

As they cast votes, Republican legislators held aloft paperback copies of the Constitution in protest.

The bill would allow law enforcement officers to petition a state district court to order the temporary surrender of firearms by a gun holder who “poses a significant danger of causing imminent personal injury to self or others.”

Complaints also could be filed indirectly by sworn affidavits from relatives, employers or school administrators.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham supports the proposal that gained momentum after the August 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart store in nearby El Paso, Texas. She says new tools are needed for law enforcement to prevent gun violence and better secure the safety of schools.

A similar proposal last year stalled in the state Senate. This year deliberations began in the Senate, which endorsed the bill on a 22-20 vote last week.

Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas of Albuquerque urged House colleagues to support the legislation while recounting an unsuccessful attempt to coax a gun away from a cousin by marriage, who later died by suicide.

“Let’s vote for life, and let’s vote for our families," he said.

Republicans made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to amend the bill. Any changes would have triggered the need for a new Senate vote of concurrence.

"This bill is not ready for prime time, this bill has holes in it,” Townsend said.

Supporters of red flag laws say they can reduce suicides and gun violence and lessen the risk of mass shootings. Gun-rights supporters contend they violate not only the right to own firearms but other constitutional guarantees, such as the right to due legal process, to confront an accuser, and against unreasonable searches and seizures of property.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have some sort of red flag law, with most enacting them starting in 2018.

Associated Press



    1. When tyranny becomes law resistance becomes duty. The fact of the matter is cowards like yourself and Skateboard Bob are not the ones coming to take rightfully owned property, it’s some pipe-hitters armed with the very same weaponry you want “off the streets” as if they were on the streets on the first place. Well when the time comes, send bachelor’s and send them well armed.

  1. No – no chance that anything can go wrong here… I trust the state of New Mexico implicitly…
    Screw the 2nd (Right to Bear Arms), 4th (Search and Seizure) 5th (Due Process) 10th (Delegated Powers) – no, no problems here!
    Sometimes I wonder just which Constitution the Legislature is reading then I realized that it’s obvious – they are just cutting and pasting from other failed states! There is no original thought here!

  2. As long as it’s temporary unless a true public danger is apparent, such as mental illness or the like, then I have no problem with this. After the Walmart massacre, the President stated that mental illness must be addressed. I agreed with that statement and this is one way to address it. If you’re against this bill, then you’re against addressing mental illness as a factor in mass shootings.

    1. The Constitutional protections red flag laws, or ERPOs in other states, violate goes far beyond the 2nd. It violates the 5th Amendment, 6th Amendment, and possibly the 4th Amendment. We’ve seen these laws been abused in the states that have it and also be ineffective in the states that have it. Colorado had a case where a woman who’s son was killed by a LEO filed a false red flag report on the LEO; of course they caught it because he was one of them. California’s version, called GVRO, did not stop the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attacks nor the Gilroy Garlic shooting. This does NOTHING to address the problem. Once again, another bandage over an arterial wound in the hope that it stops the bleeding. No you need to find the source of the mental illness, why do the vast majority of shooters are medicated on SSRIs from a very young age? Does that play a part? Who knows, no one’s looking into it.

  3. Screw mental illness. A HUGE CRUTCH for raising little White punks with intolerance to minorities/immigrants. Have the balls to stick to your agenda versus tip toeing with mental illness. Bunch of cowards. Stick your mental illness up your mothers.

  4. Or go back to the woods: where we can’t see you. We like it that way. Bye bye!!! Kinda like now, hiding behind a keyboard locked up at home.

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