Anti-crime bill tackling human and drug trafficking with a firearm halted in first legislative hearing

Santa Fe, NM- Representative Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque) today presented House Bill 81, an anti-crime bill that would have made being in possession of a firearm while trafficking drugs or trafficking a human , a criminal offense. While the original bill only included drug trafficking, Rep. Rehm amended the bill during the committee hearing to include human trafficking, in order to address the serious and ongoing human trafficking problem plaguing New Mexico communities. 

“Talk about tone-deaf, the committee must be unaware Albuquerque is the second most violent city in the United States,” said Representative Bill Rehm (Albuquerque). “With fourteen murders in January 2021, and with most murders related to drugs, when will the legislature decide to seriously address the crime problem? The other side of the aisle has frequently highlighted the problem with human trafficking in our state, yet this action signals it is acceptable for human traffickers to carry firearms so they can intimidate their victims.”

The amended version of HB 81 was voted down, 3-2 on a party-line vote.