HB 193, a bill that would expand New Mexico’s current red flag law, passed its first committee hurdle on Saturday with a party-line vote. While it won’t surprise anyone to see anti-gun Democrats to pushing to expand red flag confiscations, the way they’re doing it in this case flies in the face of some of the party’s other priorities.
The bill, introduced by two Democrats representing the state’s most populous county, would expand on the current red flag law by giving more power to police.
Currently, a person requesting a red flag gun grab against a firearm owner must have some sort of personal connection with the allegedly dangerous individual. The list of eligible reporting parties was already pretty broad, allowing “a spouse, former spouse, parent, present or former stepparent, present or former parent-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, co-parent of a child, child, person with whom a respondent has or had a continuing personal relationship, employer, or public or private school administrator” to try to convince a court that a gun owner is a problem and needs to have their guns confiscated pending a hearing.
Now, however, New Mexico Democrats want to add law enforcement officers to that list. If passed, police would be able to initiate a petition to the court for a red flag confiscation order against a gun owner. In fact, the bill would allow anyone who claims to have “first hand, credible information” that a gun owner is a danger to petition the court for a confiscation order.
“The scariest thing about the new red flag amendment is that anyone can report you now,” Stefani Lord, a Republican member of the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, told The Truth About Guns. “This opens the door to retaliation from a disgruntled employee, an angry ex, or even a stranger reporting you for something taken out of context.”
But other bills, like HB 4 and HB 263, Democrats are pushing for increased police accountability after the events of 2020. The idea is that police can’t be trusted with things like sovereign immunity, qualified immunity, or anything short of centralized police use-of-force reporting.
While Representatives haven’t said it publicly, plenty of Democrats have accused police of inherent racism, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry within their ranks that affect their judgement in use-of-force situations.
New Mexico Democrats apparently believe in a sort of “Schrödinger’s Cop,” who simultaneously believe that police can’t be trusted to not violate citizens’ rights, but at the same time, can be trusted to initiate court actions against a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms without the protection of due process or the right to face one’s accuser.
Like Schrödinger’s Cat, the police in New Mexico seem to have the ability to be two things at once.
Next, the bill will head to the N.M. House Judiciary Committee for public comments and a vote.
Be sure to e-mail the committee members to let them know you don’t believe in Schrödinger’s Cop or reports from strangers, and watch the committee’s webpage to see when the bill is scheduled for a hearing. The more people who show up to comment on it, the longer it takes for the committee to pass it, so even if they don’t listen to us, we can at least act as a speed bump while they try to run over our rights.