New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made passage of a “red flag” firearms seizure bill her top priority for the 30-day legislative session this year, and after several close votes, a bill has made it to her desk over the objections of most of the state’s sheriffs and the rank-and-file of the state’s largest police force. Several counties in the state are also formally opposing the measure, including Chaves County in the eastern part of the state, where commissioners voted Thursday to approve a resolution in opposition to the bill.
hundreds of residents poured into the Chaves County Commission chambers as the commission made clear their opposition to the law.
“This just violates too many constitutional rights for us to even enforce,” said Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington.
Herrington has been very vocal about his objection to the ‘red flag’ gun bill which would allow law enforcement to petition a court to take away a person’s guns if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Herrington presented a petition to the commissioners signed by hundreds of residents who stand opposed to the red flag bill, and many of them were in attendance at the meeting, eager to see their local officials send a message to the governor.
The Sheriff says he can’t uphold a law he feels is unconstitutional and residents are backing him up.
“I was extremely concerned about this particular law because it worries me that there is no due process,” said Stacy Wolkwitz.
“This is something that affects all New Mexicans, the Second Amendment is a way of life for us, and we appreciate all the coverage and everyone that showed up to support us,” said Claire Chase.
While Chaves County may the latest to oppose the bill, it’s not the first in the state to pass a formal resolution urging the governor to reject the gun control legislation. Otero County commissioners approved a resolution of their own last week.
Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday voicing opposition to a proposed law they said “will make criminals of innocent citizens.”
“I’m very much in support of the Second Amendment and a lot of shooting happens around here. This is why I brought it: mainly to show our opposition to it and to show support for our sheriff,” Otero County Commission Vice Chairwoman Lori Bies said
Torrance County commissioners also approved a resolution opposing the red flag bill last week, while commissioners in Dona Ana County rejected a resolution in support of the red flag bill at a meeting in late January attended by hundreds of residents.
The opposition may not matter to Gov. Grisham, who is still expected to sign the bill, but its a sign that gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in the state aren’t going to back down. Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace has already said that he and other sheriffs will challenge the red flag law in court if necessary, and Mace even told Bearing Arms that he’s willing to face a contempt charge rather than enforce a red flag order in his county.