New Mexico governor proposes assault weapons ban

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SANTA FE, N.M. – Nearly half a dozen gun control bills were introduced during Wednesday’s House session, including the assault weapons ban championed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. That bill is expected to land in its first committee next week, where it will face it’s first real test.

“We all know that we cannot keep our people safe if weapons of war continue to flood our neighborhoods, that is why I am calling for a ban on assault weapons,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. 

Santa Fe County Rep. Andrea Romero is behind the proposal. According to her bill, assault weapons are generally defined as semi-automatic shotguns, pistols, and rifles that can fire several bullets in quick succession.

Romero says her bill is meant to draw a line between the guns used for protection and hunting, from those often used to commit mass shootings.

“We talked to hunters, we talked to, you know, gun enthusiast, these are the types of weapons that are only used in these mass shootings. Outside of that, you can’t hunt with them, you can’t you know, so there there really aren’t, you know, necessary to have for the safety and precaution that we’re trying to take in all of our communities across the state in the prevention of gun violence,” said Romero. 

Some other gun control bills introduced include ones aimed at establishing a 14-day waiting period, increasing penalties for improperly stored weapons, and restrictions on magazine sizes.

As expected, Republican lawmakers are not supporting any of these proposals.

One House representative we spoke with suggests Democrats are missing the big picture when it comes to gun violence in New Mexico.

“The problem with all of those is the only people that will abide by those, any bill you pass, are legal gun owners. The criminals don’t care, they do not care, they’re gonna go out and get a weapon, they’re gonna do whatever they want, they don’t care about anything we pass here. What we need to do is enforce the bills we already have, and keep people behind bars and stop laying the amount of bail,” said state Rep. Stefani Lord. 

During her address, the governor also mentioned wanting to sign a law allowing lawsuits to be filed against gun manufactures. We have not seen, or heard, when that bill could show up in the Roundhouse.

State Sen. Bill O’Neil has a bill that would make it illegal for anyone under 21 to have an automatic or semi-automatic firearm. That essentially bans any assault style weapons in that age group. There would be a handful of exceptions for competitions.