Governor Contradicts Campaign Promise on Crime Bills
Our state has a growing crime problem and New Mexicans deserve solutions that will keep us safe. During the campaign, then-Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham promised just that, saying, “As Governor, I’ll ensure that crime bills are responsive to public safety needs in an evidenced-based manner.”
Yet as soon as she became governor, she did the opposite. She ignored the evidence, defied the advice of nearly every county sheriff in our state, and signed extreme gun control legislation based on nothing but partisan politics.
When it comes to Senate Bill 8, which the Governor recently signed into law, she and progressive Democrats threw caution to the wind and forged ahead with strict adherence to political ideology, despite a mountain of evidence that it simply will not work.
The new law mandates background checks for nearly all firearm sales and transfers, including those between friends, neighbors, and co-workers. The bill is so bad that dozens of New Mexico counties and municipalities passed resolutions against it.
Law enforcement officials across New Mexico – and even studies published by groups against gun rights – show that universal background checks are a complete and total misfire when it comes to preventing crime.
Nearly all of New Mexico’s county sheriffs – whether they were Democratic or Republican – and the Albuquerque Police Officers Association opposed the bill, because it would be unenforceable and useless for preventing crime.
“Bad guys aren't going to get background checks on guns,” Shaun Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, said. “It is a feel-good piece of legislation that is going to be unenforceable.”
Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, a Democrat, declared the newly enacted background check measure “unenforceable, overreaching, unconstitutional, a gun grab, and a waste of taxpayer resources.”
In a similar vein, Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage said, “We have evidence to show that this garbage legislation is not going to work.”
Rather than biting the bullet, admitting her mistake, and accepting the advice of these public safety experts, Governor Lujan Grisham attacked our law enforcement officers for pointing out the obvious. She said they were “going rogue” and “throwing a childish pity party.”
If the Governor did not want to believe the overwhelming and bipartisan majority of the sheriffs in our state, she could have looked at Nevada and Washington, two states that enacted similar policies in recent years. Since even anti-gun news sources like Vox admit they haven’t reduced gun violence there, it is no surprise she decided to look the other way.
She clearly chose to ignore academia as well, because researchers are churning out a steady stream of peer-reviewed studies with findings contrary to her radical gun-control agenda.
A just-published study in the Annals of Epidemiology looked at legislation passed in California similar to the new law in New Mexico. It found “no net difference between firearm-related homicide rates before and during the ten years after policy implementation.” The study was funded by the fervently anti-gun Joyce Foundation.
A similar study, also from University of California-Davis, examined firearm homicide and suicide rates in Indiana and Tennessee after repealing their comprehensive background check laws. They both found “no evidence of an association between the repeal of comprehensive background check policies and firearm homicide and suicide rates” in either state.
In case that was not enough, another study published in the Journal of Urban Health and funded by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research found that universal background checks are correlated with increases in firearm homicide rates. It doesn’t establish causation but the point still holds: universal background checks do nothing to protect the public.
Ultimately, Senate Bill 8 will be ignored by criminals and burden law-abiding citizens. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and radical progressives forced through this sort of gun control legislation that does nothing to address our skyrocketing crime problem and could even make it worse by keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
Instead, New Mexicans will soon see that Governor Lujan-Grisham’s policies are nothing more than unsubstantiated nods to far-left interest groups that want to strip us of our rights, make us less safe, and encroach on our constitutionally-protected freedom.
Fortunately, an effort is underway to fight this law and help New Mexicans keep our rights. If you are concerned about this overreaching law that does nothing to protect public safety, click here to join our movement or make a donation to support our work.