After gun background check bill passes, Republicans want voters to overturn law | KOB 4
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After gun background check bill passes, Republicans want voters to overturn law

Kai Porter
March 11, 2019 07:10 AM

SANTA FE, N.M.- In a rare move, House Republicans want to start a petition that they say could overturn Senate Bill 8 once the governor signs it into law.

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The petition could allow voters to ultimately take up the gun background check issue.

"This is a democratic process. It's in our constitution. This is a way that we can, that the citizens can, overturn rogue legislators,” said Rep. Rod Montoya, House Minority Whip.

According to the secretary of state’s office, the petition would need signatures from 10 percent of voters statewide who voted in the last general election. That equals about 70,000 people.

The petition also requires 10 percent of signatures from qualified voters in three-fourths of the state’s counties.

If those requirements are met, the issue to overturn Senate Bill 8 would be placed on the Nov. 2020 ballot.

In addition, the law would be suspended until the vote if the petition gained 25 percent of the required voter signatures.

“This is a really big problem for the governor and for the Democrats in charge because voters across the state have weighed in on this,” Montoya said. “We have 25 counties that have weighed in and have said this is not something we want.”

Democratic Speaker of the House Brian Egolf calls the Republican’s move a political stunt that is unconstitutional.

“It appears the House Republicans have not read the entire passage of the constitution because it very clearly says that the voters may not rescind or nullify a law dealing with public safety,” Egolf said. “Obviously, Senate Bill 8 is about keeping communities safe, is about public safety.”

It will be up to the secretary of state’s office to determine whether the petition meets the requirements of the law.

“This is not going to go forward. They can try to sue the secretary of state if they wish but the reality is the powers in the constitution repeal by referendum do not apply here,” Egolf said.

Meanwhile, the bill was sent to the governor Thursday. She has until Monday to sign it, which she said she will do.

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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