What Happens If Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce State Gun-Control Laws?

What Happens If Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce State Gun-Control Laws?

Gun Rights

Then-Representative, now Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. On March 8th, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed a bill that, effective July, closes a federal loophole exempting unlicensed vendors and gun shows from a law requiring that all licensed arms dealers conduct background checks on potential buyers. The law brings New Mexico into the ranks of 20 other states and Washington, D.C., all of which have passed similar pieces of legislation requiring expansion of criminal background checks on handgun sales in recent months. (Notably the United States House of Representatives passed a similar resolution, which now sits in the Senate.) According to a 2017 study conducted by the Giffords Law Center , as many as 22 percent of American gun owners had obtained their firearms without a background check thanks to such loopholes, a number that amounts to millions of unvetted buyers acquiring guns each year. But even before gun-safety advocates cheered the newly minted law on Friday, a majority of New Mexico’s sheriffs and county commissioners had been brainstorming ways to torpedo the legislation, which they claim infringes upon the constitutional rights of the state’s citizens. At the time of the background check bill’s passage, 25 of New Mexico’s 33 counties had approved so-called "Second Amendment sanctuary ordinances"— public declarations signed by local law enforcement as part of a broader effort to indicate opposition to the gun-safety measures being proposed by the Democrat-controlled New Mexico state legislature. While […]

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