Updated: February 13, 2020 06:19 PM
Created: February 13, 2020 05:49 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The house will debate the red flag law Thursday night, and Republicans are accusing Democrats of fast-tracking the bill to push it through.
Under Senate Bill 5, anyone posing a threat to themselves or others could have their guns taken away for up to a year, following a hearing in front of a judge.
“We need to be careful, there’s not reason to rush this through, and it could have some serious legal ramifications that have not been addressed yet,” said Republican State Rep. Gregg Schmedes.
House Republicans – like representatives Schmedes and Alonzo Baldonado – are upset Democratic Speaker of the House Brian Egolf only assigned the bill to one committee hearing in the house. Republicans feel it should have also been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
“It’s understandable that a bill, a small bill, would maybe get one committee assignment once it crosses over to the senate or back to the house but to have a bill of this magnitude only get one committee assignment that’s only made up of 5 members, so that’s less than 10 percent of the 70 membership body that get to dig down in the weeds and really ask questions about the bill and figure out what it does,” Baldonado said.
KOB 4 asked one of the bill’s sponsors – State Representative Joy Garratt – about Republicans’ concerns with the bill being pushed through.
“I think a very thorough vetting has been done,” Garrat said. “We’re in the last seven days of the legislature, there’s not time to go to every committee.”
House Republicans are also concerned about the one committee assignment because the bill was amended six times on the senate floor before it was sent to the house.
“I feel very comfortable, especially because we will have three hours discussing it,” Garrat said. “Some of those six amendments were very minor. Two were typos. They were vetted on the senate floor they’ll be vetted again tonight”
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