NM Red Flag Law Expansion Goes Absolutely Nowhere

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Of all the measures out there that are anti-gun, red flag laws are probably the most worrying. They seem to enjoy some degree of bipartisan support and seem to pass with alarming regularity in various states.

New Mexico is one of many states that has such a law. It’s a shame, too, because New Mexico is such a lovely state.

However, an attempt to expand that law just met a fiery death.

A controversial bill to expand New Mexico’s so-called red-flag gun law appears to be a victim of more pressing priorities in this year’s 60-day legislative session.

“For all intents and purposes, it’s gone, unless something really radical changes,” one of the sponsors, Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, said Wednesday. “But there are just too many other priorities this time.”

Ely said he hopes to bring the measure back during the Legislature’s 30-day legislative session next year.

“It’s a calendar management problem,” he said of the bill’s likely demise this year.

House Bill 193 sought to amend New Mexico’s Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act by adding law enforcement officers to the list of people who could seek a court order to temporarily take firearms from a person considered a threat, among other changes.

Under current law, police officers may only seek a court order if it is requested by a family member, a school official, an employer or someone who has had a “continuing personal relationship” with a person considered a threat to themselves or others. The change would allow an officer to seek a court order based on his or her own observations, “absent receipt of credible information from a reporting party.”

This, of course, is a big victory in part because any expansion of who can request taking someone’s Second Amendment rights away from them is a big threat to the Second Amendment as a whole.

As it stands, law enforcement is already empowered to seek a temporary psychiatric hold on anyone they believe is a threat to themselves or others. This, it would seem to me, would be an overall better option because not just does it remove someone’s access to firearms, but also their access to any other weapons as well as the general public as a whole.

Plus, it allows them to get treatment to help them deal with whatever may be broken inside of them so that they do represent a threat.

“But that may not be warranted?” someone might say, and they may be right.

My counter to that, though, is that if that isn’t warranted, then how the hell is it warranted to strip someone of a different right? Is it strictly because you believe that the right to keep and bear arms is simply no worthy of respect? I mean, we all know that to be true.

Frankly, I’m glad this bill died, but I really wish it had simply been voted down into oblivion. Then we wouldn’t have to see this bill drop in the hopper again next freaking year.

 

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Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET