State Republicans accuse Democrats of rushing 'red flag bill' | KOB 4
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State Republicans accuse Democrats of rushing 'red flag bill'

Nathan O'Neal
Updated: February 11, 2020 05:29 PM
Created: February 11, 2020 04:25 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Tensions were on the rise at the Roundhouse Tuesday as lawmakers debated a controversial gun bill known as the red flag law.

It would allow a judge to take someone's guns away if they are determined to be a risk to themselves or others.

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The bill passed the state Senate, and gained traction in the House despite sharp criticism from Republicans.

“When we are limiting the debate, we are basically shutting down the people's voice of our state,” said Rep. Candace Spence Ezzell.

The bill was debated in the House Consumer and Public Affairs committee Tuesday, and Republicans took issue with Chairwoman Liz Thomson's decision to limit debate to 30 minutes for each side.

“Just think about this, there are 30 sheriffs that are opposing this -- one minute a piece,” said minority floor leader Jim Townsend. “You tell me, is that fair?”

Rep. Thomson responded, saying the debate time is fair.

“We heard this same bill last year and had many hours of testimony -- it's totally fair,” she said

Townsend believes Democrats are moving too fast.

“There was absolutely no need to start bullying a bill through the House -- we have time,” he said. “It's an important bill. It affects many people and it is not too much to ask for fairness and transparency. This clearly is not either.”

Thomson said things are moving quickly because of the shortened legislative session.

“Everything is rushed when you have 30 days and you have committees and the floors to go through,” she said. “It has to be rushed and the reason we put it on today's committee is because it's our only bill.”


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