SANTA FE (KSMX)- The effects of a progressive shift in New Mexico politics are being felt as new laws take effect that restrict gun access, raise taxes, decriminalize low-level drug possession and provide a major boost in state spending on everything from teacher salaries to road construction.
However, two new gun laws will go into effect for New Mexicans today (July 1). This law will enforce that anyone who buys a gun in the state is now required to go through a background check, whether they purchase the gun from a store, a neighbor, or a friend. The only exceptions are sales and transfers between family members and between law enforcement.
New Mexico also is limiting who can carry firearms on school grounds to trained security personnel and prohibiting people from possessing a firearm if they’re under permanent protective orders for domestic violence.
First-year Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned on pledges to improve gun safety and signed the new initiatives with enthusiasm.
More than two dozen sheriffs in predominantly rural areas vowed to avoid enforcement, equipped with supportive resolutions from county commissions. New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association President Tony Mace of Cibola County compares the universal background check law to texting-while-driving prohibitions that aren’t enforced a lot of the time.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has warned sheriffs and police chiefs that they risk legal liability if they refuse to enforce these new laws.