Cibola County, New Mexico Sheriff Tony Mace was in Santa Fe on Tuesday as a state Senate committee approved a “red flag” bill along partisan lines, and he’s talking all about it on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co.
Mace says the bill isn’t just opposed by 30 of the state’s 33 sheriffs, but law enforcement officers across the state. While Albuquerque’s police chief says the department supports the legislation, for example, the local police officers union has made it clear that the rank and file do not.
The sheriff says he has several problems with the bill, and while he hopes the legislation is defeated in the state Senate, he’s prepared to challenge the law if it goes into effect. In fact, Mace says he’s even ready to face a contempt charge and the possible jail time or fine that could come with it.
“We’re really taking a hard stance on it,” the sheriff said of the state sheriffs association’s opposition to the bill. “There are attorneys that don’t like it, that realize the unconstitutionality of them. And again, if these orders come through my office, if we get them, we’re not going to put people at risk. We’re not going to put our officers at risk. And if I have to go to the judge and get held in contempt of court to prove a point, I’m ready. We’re gonna do the right thing here.”
Mace says the most frustrating part of the debate over red flag legislation is the unwillingness of the Democrat leadership in the legislature to even meet with sheriffs. During Tuesday’s hearing, information emerged about a meeting between lawmakers, the state police, and others who support the legislation, but Mace says he and other sheriffs weren’t invited, even though their offices will be the ones charged with enforcing the law.
Instead of red flag legislation, Mace says he and many other sheriffs believe it would be far better to use the state’s existing civil commitment laws while bolstering the mental health treatment options in the state. The red flag legislation, he argues, doesn’t do anything to actually help individuals in crisis, but erodes the constitutional rights of all in the name of “doing something.”
The bill faces one more committee hearing before it heads to the floor of the state Senate, where similar legislation died last year. If the bill clears the Senate, it’s expected to easily move through the House and reach the desk of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who’s already vowed to sign the legislation into law. Opponents of the bill did a great job packing the state capitol earlier this week, and Sheriff Mace says there will be a Second Amendment Rally at the capitol this Friday, January 31st, at 11 a.m. and he’s hoping for a strong turnout from across the state.
Be sure to check out the entire interview above, and stick around afterwards as we discuss some other anti-gun legislation popping up in California, Oregon, and Hawaii, as well as today’s armed citizen story from Arizona.
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One final note: I don’t think I’ve ever plugged my non-2A podcast here, but we just posted our first episode of 2020, so if you’re a fan of my bride Miss E and want to keep up with everything on the farm, you can also check out a new 40 Acres & A Fool here.