DA: New Mexico law that allows authorities to take guns from high-risk individuals underused

DA: New Mexico law that allows authorities to take guns from high-risk individuals underused

Aug. 4—First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies is carrying the banner for the so-called red-flag gun law. And she’s decided her office will, too. Attorneys and investigators in the District Attorney’s Office recently received training on how to use the year-old law, which is aimed at removing guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others and prevents them from buying new weapons for up to a year. The law — called the Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act — was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in the 2020 Legislature, reviled by gun-rights advocates and even some in law enforcement who complained it would have little effect on someone who wanted to take a life. They also complained it would violate due process, as well as the Second and Fourth amendments. Several sheriffs in New Mexico warned they would not enforce the law after it was passed. But Carmack-Altwies, in her first year as district attorney for a three-county area that includes Santa Fe, said the law has been underutilized and she’d like to see it used more. “Extreme risk laws have yielded excellent results in other areas of the country in reducing the harms of gun violence,” she wrote in an email. “We’ve been in conversation with New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence to ensure that we can help to utilize this evidence based tool to its fullest. “My hope is that with training and collaboration, [we] can help to protect the public […]

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