New Mexico AG says sheriffs must enforce gun control law

New Mexico AG says sheriffs must enforce gun control law

Gun Rights

New Mexico’s attorney general says law enforcement agencies must enforce a new law expanding background checks to nearly all private gun sales and that they could be liable for damage claims if they don’t. Attorney General Hector Balderas issued the warning in a letter sent Thursday to police chiefs and county sheriffs, the Albuquerque Journal reported . The law will take effect July 1. Numerous county sheriffs opposed the legislation when it was being considered by the Democratic-led Legislature, but it was approved by lawmakers and then signed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 8. Balderas, a Democrat, told the law enforcement agencies that they have legal obligation to enforce the broadened background checks requirement regardless of whether they agree with the legislation. "As law enforcement officials," Balderas said, "we do not have the freedom to pick and choose which state laws we enforce." The president of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association said Balderas’ letter was premature because the law hasn’t taken effect and because law enforcement officers have discretion in how they enforce laws. "We’re elected by the people in our communities," Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace said of his fellow sheriffs, "and that’s what we’re looking at – what do the people in our communities want?"… MORE Law enforcement officers do have discretion in enforcing the law. As one Sheriff explained on his website Oath of Office or Enforce all Laws I have been asked why I would not enforce every present and future law […]

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