Critics of New Mexico gun law renew call for referendum

Critics of New Mexico gun law renew call for referendum

Gun Rights

A look at what New Mexico’s expanded background check law actually means. Mason Callejas, Wochit SANTA FE – Critics are reviving their challenge of a new gun control measure by trying to put the issue on a ballot for voters to decide. Opponents have filed an amended petition with New Mexico’s top election regulator that seeks a statewide referendum. The secretary of state’s office had rejected a previous attempt, saying the law to expand background checks to nearly all private gun sales was designed to improve public safety and therefore is exempt from petition referendums. House Republican leader James Townsend of Artesia disputes that, saying in a letter sent Tuesday to Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver that only the courts can make such a determination. “Neither the secretary of state nor the attorney general has the authority to unilaterally determine if a given piece of legislation meets the public peace, health and safety standard described by the New Mexico Constitution,” he wrote. In this Feb. 15, 2018 file photo, New Mexico Rep. James Townsend, an Artesia Republican, researches a bill on the House floor in Santa Fe, N.M., at the New Mexico Statehouse. (Photo: Russell Contreras/AP) The secretary of state’s office, he continued, has a duty to ensure that the petitioning process is correctly followed and that any petition put before the public conforms to the format required by the state constitution. “New Mexicans are constitutionally permitted to decide by referendum their choice on this consequential legislation,” he […]

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