FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 11, 2020

Contact: Matt Garcia-Sierra, m.garciasierra@nmlegis.gov

Democrats red-flag gun rush to finish continues

Santa Fe, NM- Following a delay of several hours, the House Consumer and Public Affairs (CPAC) committee kicked off the first and only public committee hearing of the highly controversial red-flag gun bill, SB 5. Despite six amendments in the Senate chamber, the Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) made the unilateral determination that the contentious gun legislation would only be heard by a committee of three Democrat and two Republican lawmakers before moving to the full body. House Republican legislators voiced their frustration over SB 5 not being given due justice by being heard by the House Judicial committee.

“Given the numerous changes to the SB 5, I cannot believe that the public truly understands what this bill intends to do. I am not sure the members of this House, at this point, are reading from the same version of the bill or analysis,” said Representative Candy Ezzell (R-Roswell), “I applaud our committee analysts and staff for having tried to uncomplicate the mess that has been created by fast-tracking this bill, but I do not believe that this committee fully vetted SB 5. We are dealing with people’s constitutional rights, and those rights are worth fighting for and worth the time to properly discuss the red-flag gun bill.”

The House CPAC committee heard SB 5 late into the evening, beginning with 30-minute limited debate for each opinion of the legislation. The 30-minute public comment limit, the first use of such rule change privilege in a hearing this year, was hurriedly announced by CPAC chair Liz Thomson (D-Albuquerque) shortly after the Speaker announced the bill’s single committee assignment.

Representative Ezzell and Representative Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras) both introduced amendments to align SB 5 with recommendations aimed at further clarifying the red-flag gun bill. All republican sponsored amendments were tabled by the three democrat committee members, with little to no debate on each amendment.

“This bill disarms our brave law enforcement officers by removing their discretion to do their job,” said Representative Gregg Schmedes, “Progressive Democrats are pushing this legislation to weaken and litigate law enforcement agencies, endangering us all. I do not support the violation of law-abiding New Mexicans constitutional rights.”

Senate Bill 5 passed the House CPAC on a party line vote of 3-2.

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