New Mexico lawmakers to prohibit firearms in state capitol building

A new law in New Mexico bans firearms from being brought into the state capitol building, which previously was allowed.

An 8-5 vote, which was divided along party lines, revokes the right to bring firearms into the building (Santa Fe New Mexican). Previously, people were allowed to bring a gun into the building concealed with a permit or carried openly. The new law will go into effect when New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signs it. She is expected to call a special legislative session in December for redistricting.

The Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro-Tempore, both of which are currently held by Democrats, will be the only two to authorize anyone without an exception to carry a firearm into the building. The ban will apply to the capitol building, the capitol annex, and the walkway that connects the two. The Capitol, called the Roundhouse, is known to be one of the most “publicly accessible” of the U.S. capitols.

Republicans voted against the bill. Two, Senate Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (District 29-Bernalillo and Valencia) and Senate Republican Whip Craig Brandt released a statement in response to the vote, in which they said, “It is clear that Democratic leaders in New Mexico know no bounds when it comes to their unchecked power […] As with all assaults on the Second Amendment, this ban is solely an assault on law abiding citizens and does nothing to improve security. With no one to stop a criminal from jeopardizing all of our safety, this rule does little more than paint a target on our building for those who wish to do harm.”

State Rep. Rebecca Dow, who is hoping to receive the Republican bid for governor, remarked that those who favored the bill are radicals. “I have fought the radical legislature on this issue before, and I am happy to stand up to them again.”

Democrat Peter Wirth, a State Senator, sponsored the bill. He believes that the “building needs to be a safe place for the public, for all of the public, for our staff, and it needs to be safe for all of us,” adding that “There are places where guns just don’t mix.”




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