ARTESIA—New Mexico House Republican Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia) issued the following statement on the decision of Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to reject his draft petition for a referendum on Senate Bill 8, unenforceable legislation requiring background checks for private gun sales in New Mexico:  

“Twenty-nine of New Mexico’s thirty-three sheriffs oppose SB 8. Twenty-five counties have stood up and said they don’t agree with this law and will not enforce it. The people of New Mexico want their voices heard, and the Secretary of State continues to ignore them. The Secretary of State is supposed to encourage voter participation, not suppress it. 

“If the Secretary of State thinks she can dispatch a couple of letters and make this issue go away, she’s wrong. I’m going to continue to my fight to allow New Mexicans to have a direct say on this far-reaching legislation that will restrict their constitutional rights. Every option is on the table.”