‘Red flag’ bill only gets one committee assignment in House

This year’s high-profile firearms legislation will be heard by a House panel Tuesday, but it won’t be the Judiciary Committee. The controversial Senate Bill 5, which allows law enforcement to petition a court to take away a person’s firearms if they are found to pose a threat, will instead be heard by the House Consumer and […]

‘Red flag’ bill only gets one committee assignment in House

This year’s high-profile firearms legislation will be heard by a House panel Tuesday, but it won’t be the Judiciary Committee.

The controversial Senate Bill 5, which allows law enforcement to petition a court to take away a person’s firearms if they are found to pose a threat, will instead be heard by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

It’s a decision that had House Republicans sharply criticizing the Democratic majority Monday.

“I think they’re just trying to force it through,” said House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, R-Artesia. “Any time you have a bill that’s so charged and has been amended five or six times, it deserves to be looked at by the Judiciary Committee in the opposing house.”

The Senate passed the legislation by a narrow margin Friday, and on Monday House Speaker Brian Egolf assigned it to be heard in the public affairs committee before it would proceed to a floor vote.

The bill, also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, would allow someone’s firearms to be confiscated for 10 days, an order that could be extended to one year. The legislation was harshly denounced by Republican senators and opposed by four Democrats in the Senate before it passed 22-20 on Friday.

Rep. Daymon Ely, a co-sponsor of the bill who is the vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Monday his committee was backed up with other bills. He added that the House debated a similar measure at length last year, so the time it will likely get this year on the House side would be enough.

“We’ll still have four or five hours of debate,” said Ely, D-Corrales, calculating the total time the bill could get in the committee and on the floor.

Democratic senators proposed and approved six amendments to the bill on the floor, including one amendment that raised the standard needed for a judge to issue a one-year “extreme risk” order from probable cause to a preponderance of the evidence.

Another change would allow a judge to decide how much time a respondent has to voluntarily turn in his or her firearms, instead of mandating, as a previous version of the bill did, that respondents would have 48 hours to do so.

The House GOP said in a statement that the Judiciary Committee should be able to consider “the legal ramifications of the heavily amended bill.”

Yet Ely said the changes would be easy for legislators to understand on the floor.

“I don’t think it requires lawyers to explain them,” he said.

The committee hearing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday will be similar to the Senate Public Affairs Committee’s prior hearing of the same bill. It will be held on the floor of the House with the public in the gallery. Proponents and opponents will each have 30 minutes to express their views, and weapons will not be allowed in the gallery.

House Judiciary Committee analysts will be present at the hearing to help write an analysis for members of the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, according to a spokesman for the House Democrats.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

Attorney General Raúl Torrez announced on Thursday his legislative priorities for July’s special legislative session, including the creation of a crime victim’s unit to…
Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

Correa Hemphill to step down from legislature

State Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, a Democrat from Silver City, won’t seek reelection in the general election in November, leaving SD 28, a swing…
BLM announces criteria for lands that the government might purchase

BLM announces criteria for lands that the government might purchase

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced the criteria for landowners to nominate private lands adjacent to public lands that can be sold or…
EPA announces $18.9M in funding to address PFAS contamination in New Mexico

EPA announces $18.9M in funding to address PFAS contamination in New Mexico

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the New Mexico Environment Department nearly $19 million to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water.…
Environmental historian reflects on the legacies of Aldo Leopold and the Gila Wilderness

Environmental historian reflects on the legacies of Aldo Leopold and the Gila Wilderness

One hundred years ago, conservationist Aldo Leopold proposed designating 500,000 acres of land in the Gila National Forest as an area where no roads…
Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury secured $8.3 million for childhood development and youth services in the 1st congressional district through federal community project funding. Stansbury,…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Lujan Grisham talks reproductive healthcare with CNN host

Lujan Grisham talks reproductive healthcare with CNN host

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned that banning contraceptives “could be next” when talking to a CNN host about New Mexico’s border and abortion issues.…
UNM approves land acquisition for Las Cruces reproductive health center

UNM approves land acquisition for Las Cruces reproductive health center

Thursday, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents approved a land acquisition for a full-spectrum reproductive healthcare center, that will include abortion care,…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
FDA urged to relax decades-old tissue donation restrictions for gay and bisexual men

FDA urged to relax decades-old tissue donation restrictions for gay and bisexual men

By Rae Ellen Bichell The federal government in 2020 and 2023 changed who it said could safely donate organs and blood, reducing the restrictions…
Lujan Grisham talks reproductive healthcare with CNN host

Lujan Grisham talks reproductive healthcare with CNN host

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned that banning contraceptives “could be next” when talking to a CNN host about New Mexico’s border and abortion issues.…
Study: Marriage equality has had a positive impact

Study: Marriage equality has had a positive impact

A recent study found that in the 20 years since Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to grant same-sex marriage licenses, same-sex…
State Ethics Commission sues Apodacas dark money operation

State Ethics Commission sues Apodacas dark money operation

By Marjorie Childress, New Mexico In Depth The State Ethics Commission on Friday sued a dark money group and its president, Jeff Apodaca, to force disclosure…
Lujan Grisham talks reproductive healthcare with CNN host

Lujan Grisham talks reproductive healthcare with CNN host

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned that banning contraceptives “could be next” when talking to a CNN host about New Mexico’s border and abortion issues.…
Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
Death threats. Harassment. Intimidation. For New Mexico women, a life in politics can bring all three.

Death threats. Harassment. Intimidation. For New Mexico women, a life in politics can bring all three.

by Susanna Space, Searchlight New Mexico One Wednesday morning in April, Las Cruces City Councilor Johana Bencomo sat in a federal courtroom, watching with…
Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury secured $8.3 million for childhood development and youth services in the 1st congressional district through federal community project funding. Stansbury,…
BLM announces criteria for lands that the government might purchase

BLM announces criteria for lands that the government might purchase

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced the criteria for landowners to nominate private lands adjacent to public lands that can be sold or…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report