Sun. May 31st, 2020

Gov. Lujan Grisham signs ‘red flag’ gun bill into law

SANTA FE (AP)- Over objections from all but a few New Mexico county sheriffs, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed into law a red-flag gun bill that will allow firearms to be temporarily taken away from those deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

The Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act, which takes effect in mid-May, will make New Mexico the 18th state to adopt such a law.

“If we can make a difference for one person, that’s the right difference to make,” Lujan Grisham said during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol.

Under the final version of the bill, only law enforcement officers, not family members or coworkers, will be able to file a petition in state court for an order to prohibit someone from possessing firearms.

However, law enforcement officials would have to explain their decision if they opted not to seek a judge’s order after receiving a report.

If a judge found sufficient evidence that an individual posed a threat to themselves or others, an emergency 10-day order requiring them to relinquish their firearms would be issued. A one-year order could then be imposed after a court hearing.

The new law will take effect May 20, which is 90 days after the session’s end date.