Albuquerque city councilors call for special session on crime

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The calls continue for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to convene a special session aimed at tackling the state’s crime crisis.

Now, some Albuquerque city councilors hope the state’s largest city will send that message loud and clear.

“We have solutions that we know will reduce crime,” said City Councilor Dan Lewis. 

Lewis is one of four councilors looking to send a strong message to the governor Monday, through legislation, calling for a special session.

“Rather than taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, which we know will not work. That’s not the problem and it’s not the solution. Let’s deal with criminals who use guns to commit crimes,” said Lewis. 

They’re calling on the Legislature to act on four crime priorities: comprehensive statewide drug treatment and warrant enforcement funding, a tool to make it easier for judges to keep violent criminals behind bars called rebuttable presumption, and a three-strikes-you’re-out law.

“I don’t believe that these are controversial issues, these are real solutions that we know are going to reduce crime in our city, and we’re saying ‘Let’s get it done,’” Lewis said. 

This comes weeks after Lujan Grisham told KOB 4 a special crime session was not in the cards.

“I am not going to call a special session,” said Lujan Grisham in September.  

Something echoed by some legislative leadership.

“Given the immensity of the issues we’re tackling, I really wouldn’t expect to see wide bipartisan alignment, and therefore it would result in a waste of taxpayer dollars and really a waste of everyone’s time,” said Speaker of the House Javier Martinez. 

Lewis says if not now, they say this resolution demands action at the upcoming 30-day session.

KOB 4 did reach out to the governor’s office with that list of priorities. A spokesperson sent the following:

“Gov. Lujan Grisham has signed into law multiple pieces of legislation directly targeting gun violence and other crimes in our state.

She has also, with the Legislature’s support, provided hundreds of millions of dollars to law enforcement entities around the state to recruit new officers, more funding for public safety infrastructure in the first four years of the administration than the previous 8 years combined, and billions of dollars to rebuild a behavioral health system decimated by the last Republican administration. She also made $10 million available in July to district attorneys around the state to help clear the state’s felony warrant backlog.   

Gov. Lujan Grisham has urged lawmakers to support additional comprehensive legislation related to gun violence and other violent crimes. She has been clear about her intent to pursue specific pieces of legislation including a 14-day waiting period, assault weapons ban, a higher age restriction for firearm purchases and – as she has during every legislative session – a push for rebuttable presumption.”