New Mexico has recently begun going off the rails when it comes to gun control. They’re starting to act like California or New Jersey and grabbing hold of every kind of gun control popping up here lately.
Now, the constitutionality of some of those measures is being challenged.
A conservative coalition filed a lawsuit this week challenging the constitutionality of two new gun laws in New Mexico – one requiring background checks, the other prohibiting the possession of guns by domestic abusers.
The New Mexico Patriots Advocacy Coalition also accused state officials of illegally blocking their right to petition for the repeal of 10 bills passed in this year’s legislative session, when Democrats held substantial majorities in both chambers.
It first asks a judge to authorize the circulation of petitions that would allow opponents of 10 new laws – including the gun legislation – the opportunity to gather enough signatures to force an election on them.
In the alternative, the lawsuit asks a judge to declare the two gun bills unconstitutional.
The suit says the approval of the background check legislation, Senate Bill 8, violates the right of New Mexicans to keep and bear arms. The new law interferes with private transactions, according to the lawsuit, by mandating a federal background check before most gun sales.
Another piece of legislation, Senate Bill 328, violates people’s right to due process by requiring them to surrender firearms even if they haven’t been convicted of a crime, the lawsuit says.
The law prohibits gun possession by someone who’s subject to an order of protection under the Family Violence Protection Act. The prohibition also applies to people convicted of certain crimes, such as battery on a household member.
In other words, the people the Albuquerque Journal refers to as “domestic abusers” in their first paragraph are people who haven’t been convicted of any such crime. A lot of people get issued an order under the FVPA only to have the charges either dismissed or be found not guilty of them. How many? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because the point is that a protection order isn’t a criminal conviction, nor should it be treated as such.
If the individuals are such a danger, then speed up the trial process for these people and let the criminal justice system do its work.
After all, I’m about to let you all in on a secret. A violent husband–and these rules almost always apply to husbands and not wives despite nearly half of all domestic abusers being women–doesn’t become less violent because his guns are taken away. He can just as easily murder his wife with a knife or a rock or even his bare hands.
But an innocent man can be victimized by the courts simply because his wife wants to punish him.
Our culture has tried to right the ship on domestic violence from where it was ignored to now every complaint is taken seriously, even when there is little evidence. Judges are often inclined to issue protective orders on a woman’s word alone. After all, imagine what the press would be like if there was no evidence, but the husband was abusive and murdered his wife and the judge had done nothing?
So, judges will issue the orders with little to no evidence out of an overabundance of caution.
The idea that this should require someone to be disarmed too, though? No, I’m sorry, but that’s taking things way too far.
My hope is that the courts feel the same way.