GOP members of committee ask chair for fair debate on red-flag gun bill
Santa Fe, NM- One of the 2020 legislative session’s most controversial bills is moving through the House of Representatives at breakneck speed. Senate Bill 5, the Governor’s red-flag gun initiative passed the Senate over the weekend. House Speaker Brian Egolf assigned the bill to be heard in one committee, the Consumer and Public Affairs (CPAC) committee, providing the public with just over 24-hour’s notice of the hearing. Several Republican members publicly voiced their concern over the constitutional issues with the legislation and asked that SB 5 be assigned to the House Judiciary committee to consider the legal ramifications of the heavily amended bill.
“Senate Bill 5 is the most egregious bill that has hit our committee this year. We have a problem with what it is proposing to do. Mainly because it is going to infringe on our first, second, fourth, and fourteenth amendment rights,” said House Republican Caucus Chair Candy Ezzell, “We will not be able to debate [SB 5] because our chairman says we only have thirty-minutes per side to do it. What happens to the people’s voice whenever it is suppressed?“
CPAC chair Liz Thomson (D-Albuquerque) stated that she would limit debate of the red-flag gun bill to 30-minutes each side that is for and against the bill. The controversial bill has received incredible attention during a session in which not much else has been accomplished. It is expected that opponents of the bill, including New Mexico Sheriffs, second amendment advocates and many concerned citizens will try to make it to the Roundhouse for the first hearing in the House.
“We take great pride in this committee, we have stayed here after 7-o’clock at night to hear multiple bills and to hear the public out in their full comments. And all of a sudden, we have one gun bill for the entire day, and we can’t give [the public] but thirty-minutes to speak,” said Representative Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras), “How is that for listening to the public? It’s not very respectful in my mind.”
SB 5 is scheduled to be heard in the House Consumer and Public Affairs committee on Tuesday, February 11 at 1:30pm in Room 317. Time and location are subject to change at the call of committee chair Thomson.
**comments from Rep. Ezzell and Rep. Schmedes were taken from video clip attached.