New Mexico GOP leaders renew call for special session on crime

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Republicans in both the state House and Senate say the governor needs to call a special session to address gun violence in the metro.

In a news conference Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said once again she is not going to call a special session to address gun violence in the metro – saying she doesn’t believe the Legislature has the bills ready.

“Gun safety and gun violence hasn’t been addressed by any political party in my view,” Lujan Grisham said.

However, Republican leaders disagree.

“I can tell you that my caucus has a list of ideas that we feel are real, practical solutions to address the crime issue in the Albuquerque metro area, and really, throughout many parts of our state, so we’re ready to present those,” House Republican Leader Ryan Lane said.

House Republicans say they introduced multiple public safety bills in the last session, but many of them never made it out of committee.

Examples they pointed out include:

  • HB 58, which would have added 12 more crimes to the state’s three-strikes law.
  • HB 59, which would have made it a third-degree felony to carry a firearm while trafficking a controlled substance.
  • HB 61 and HB 458, which both tried to increase sentencing for felons who are in possession of a firearm.

“We presented them in the last 60-day (session), and we intend to do that in the next 30-day (session),” Lane said.

In the meantime, House Republicans have started a petition to convene the Legislature in an extraordinary session to have their bills considered – that would require approval by two-thirds of the Legislature.

Senate Republicans say it’s the governor’s failure to get crime under control.

In a statement, Senate Republican Leader Greg Baca said:

“The governor’s Democrat allies in the legislature have repeatedly rejected Republican proposals to fix pretrial detention, harshen penalties for repeat offenders, and sentence juveniles who are convicted of heinous crimes as adults.”