Log In

Reset Password

New Mexico governor unveils gun control agenda

Assault-style weapons are displayed for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Illinois in 2013. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to raise the age to purchase automatic firearms from 18 to 21. Seth Perlman/AP File Photo
Age limits and prohibitions on guns in certain places among priorities

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham revealed her public safety legislative agenda this week, including many gun control measures.

“This is, without a doubt, the largest and most comprehensive public safety package in our state’s history,” Lujan Grisham said. “Gun violence is a significant contributor to the cycles of crime in our communities, and will continue to use every tool at our disposal to end this epidemic.”

Here are the gun control legislative priorities she listed in a press release:

  • The Firearm Industry Accountability Act amends the state statute to allow gun manufacturers to be held liable for deceptive trade practices.
  • Assault weapons ban lawfully regulates the manufacture, possession, and sale of weapons of war, most often the gun used in mass casualty events.
  • Raising the age to purchase automatic firearms to 21 from the current minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Firearms purchase waiting period creates a protracted waiting period of 14 days between the initiation of a federal background check and a buyer taking possession of a firearm, thereby reducing the opportunity for gun violence and suicide.
  • Prohibiting guns in polling places makes it illegal to carry firearms within 100 feet of polling places during an election.
  • Prohibiting guns in parks and playgrounds will make it illegal to carry a firearm in county or municipal parks, playgrounds, and their accompanying parking lots.
  • Felons in possession of firearms: increase the criminal penalty for felons found to be in possession of guns making it a 2nd-degree felony.
  • ERPO amendments designed to amend the Extreme Risk Firearms Protection Order Act. Specifically, it will provide an expedited process where orders are issued 24-7 via an on-call judge, a requirement of immediate relinquishment of firearms upon service of an order. This legislation also changes reporting parties to include law enforcement and health care professionals.

Monisha Henley, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety, praised the governor for her gun control agenda.

“The bottom line is that strong gun safety laws save lives,” Henley said. “The common-sense measures announced today will make New Mexico communities safer – and hold the gun industry accountable for their role in our gun violence crisis. We applaud our gun safety champions, Rep. Reena Szczepanski and Rep. Andrea Romero, and Gov. Lujan Grisham for their tireless leadership, and look forward to working together to turn these bills into laws.”

The gun control measures come as gun rights advocates recently urged the state's Supreme Court to block gun-control emergency orders enacted by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last year.

The governor's controversial order banned people from carrying guns at public parks and playgrounds in Bernalillo County, including Albuquerque. The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on Monday, Jan. 8.

Lujan Grisham invoked the orders following the shooting death of an 11-year-old outside of a Minor League Baseball ballpark. The plaintiffs say the orders violate the Second Amendment and that the governor lacks the authority to take these actions; they say the state legislature has that responsibility.

Law enforcement refused to enforce the governor's order late last summer before a court temporarily blocked it.

Additionally, the governor signed an executive order in the fall that ordered state police to create a voluntary gun buyback program – despite little evidence that it will stop gun crime, as The Center Square previously reported.

The Center Square was launched in May 2019 to fulfill the need for high-quality statehouse and statewide news across the United States. The Center Square is a project of the 501(c)(3) Franklin News Foundation, headquartered in Chicago.