New Mexico AG says sheriffs must enforce gun control law

New Mexico AG says sheriffs must enforce gun control law

Gun Rights

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — 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. Critics argued the expanded background checks and other gun control measures would be difficult to enforce and do little to address gun violence, and at least 26 county commissions approved so-called Second Amendment sanctuary ordinances in opposition. Several sheriffs in Nevada and Colorado also have won support in their counties for similar resolutions in protest of legislation in their states. Supporters said the New Mexico law will make it harder for criminals or others prohibited from having a weapon to obtain a gun. 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 […]

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