SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An ambitious slate of bills related to firearms and school safety could vault New Mexico to the forefront of efforts by states to stem gun violence through new legislation. The arrival in January of a Democratic governor to succeed a pro-gun rights Republican has opened the door to calls for broader background checks on private gun sales and initiatives to remove firearms from the hands of people who may be suicidal or seen as a danger to others. Lawmakers were poised Tuesday to advance major gun-reform initiatives. Another pending bill would ensure that teachers cannot carry firearms at schools and set protocols for armed guards. Many of the bills are confronting public skepticism and opposition from rural sheriffs in a state with a strong culture of gun ownership. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.