|"[T]hose sheriffs are going to be in a lot of trouble,” Viscoli said. - No, the state government that pisses off its armed constituents is in a lot of trouble. Have you learned nothing from history?|
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Gun rights supporters rally at Roundhouse
SANTA FE, N.M. —
A controversial state gun bill has cleared a big hurdle and New Mexicans are divided on whether the “red flag law” is a life-saving tool or a violation of constitutional rights.
KOAT was at a gun rights rally Saturday in Santa Fe, talking to people about Senate Bill 2.
The bill got the state senate's approval Friday, but it still has to go to the state House.
While Democrats and many people who live in New Mexico's urban areas support it, Republicans, especially those in rural areas, are against it, and they showed up in droves at the Roundhouse.
Some came by horse, carrying flags.
Others simply came armed with guns they said the government has no right to take away.
Conservative leaders called on state lawmakers to not pass the bill.
“We're gathered here because we're sick of where New Mexico is,” Republican Party of New Mexico chairman Steve Pearce said.
The crowd called out Democrats, chanting “vote them out!”
“This is why there were revolutions. This is why governments are overthrown. This is not OK,” protester Jim Burleson said.
Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace said it's time state lawmakers took notice.
But so far, Mace believes their voices have fallen on deaf ears.
“I absolutely do not feel that message is getting through,” he said.
If approved by the state House and signed by the governor, the bill would give law enforcement the power to remove guns from people a judge rules are a danger to themselves or others.
But Mace said it's a violation of the Second Amendment, and not the will of the people, especially those in rural New Mexico.
“Hopefully the House will really take note of what the whole population wants, and not just a select few,” he said.
Many sheriffs in New Mexico have said they won't enforce it, even if the bill is signed into law.
Mace is one of them.
But Miranda Viscoli with New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, said if that's what ends up happening, it's the sheriffs who could be facing legal trouble.
“They took an oath to uphold the law, and if they don't, they will get sued, and they should because if one of these sheriff's knows of a gun in unsafe hands and refuses to take it, and that person tragically shoots and kills somebody else, or a lot of people, well then those sheriffs are going to be in a lot of trouble,” Viscoli said.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said she will sign the bill if it makes it to her desk.
The state House is expected to begin debate and discussion on the bill next week.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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