New Mexico sheriffs push back on new gun control legislation

By  | 

LEA COUNTY -- Twenty-nine New Mexico sheriffs oppose several new gun control laws introduced by the New Mexico state legislature.

“You’re just taking guns out of law-abiding citizen’s hands,” Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton. “This is not going to affect the criminals out there. They’re going to be able to get guns and they do not follow the law.”

Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton is one of dozens of sheriffs who signed this statement by the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association targeting four gun related bills as ineffective.

House bill 83 would allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from people considered an imminent threat while people subject to a protective order would be prohibited from buying guns under house bill 87.

House bill 130 aims penalizes gun owners who don’t store guns safely around children and senate bill 8 looks to require background checks for private firearm sales.

Although many sheriffs oppose these bills New Mexico state representative Joy Garratt said legislation like her house bill 83 could have prevented massacres like the Parkland, Florida shooting last year.

“Had this bill been there they would have been able to remove his weapons temporarily while he got the mental health and law enforcement investigation that should have been done,” Garratt said.

Representative Garratt said the bills don’t infringe upon the second amendment, but Helton insists there’s enough effective laws on the books and these new measures are either redundant or unconstitutional.

“I’m proud to say I’m a constitutional sheriff and I’m just not going to enforce an unconstitutional law,” Helton said. “My oath prevents me from doing that.”