Your NM Government: Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Law

This week at the Roundhouse, Correspondent Gwyneth Doland talks with lawmakers about the controversial "Red Flag" bill.

 

January 31, 2020 – This week at the Roundhouse we talked to lawmakers about a proposal to allow police to take guns away from people if a judge determines they pose a threat of immediate danger to themselves or others. If the judge finds probable cause, the court can issue an extreme risk protection order to have guns and ammunition removed for 15 days. During that time, the gun owner may appear at a hearing to determine if the order should be extended. After the order expires the guns and ammo would be returned. (This segment is part of our #YourNMGov project, in collaboration with KUNM radio and the Santa Fe Reporter, and funded by the Thornburg Foundation and New Mexico Local News Fund) 

 Guests: 
Sen. Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez, (D) Albuquerque 
Rep. Bill Rehm, (R) Albuquerque 
Rep. Joy Garratt, (D) Albuquerque 

 For Further Reading:  

Legislator proposes temporary weapon confiscation from those who pose a danger to the public NM Political Report 

Governor to again seek red flag lawAlbuquerque Journal 

Sheriffs Oppose Red Flag Gun Legislation in New MexicoAssociated Press 

Gun studies: Permit laws reduce murders; red flag laws cut suicides NPR 

Editorial: It’s a key issue, but red flag law won’t fit in 30-day session Albuquerque Journal 

Closing the Loophole: A law that went into effect July 1 makes it harder for domestic violence perpetrators to own guns and encourages advocates to push furtherSanta Fe Reporter 

2019 Extreme Risk Protection Order DiscussionNew Mexico in Focus

Rep. Daymon Ely Discusses Extreme Risk Protection Orders (from 2019)New Mexico in Focus

Transcript:

>>GENE GRANT: A CONTROVERSIAL BILL AT THE CAPITOL ALLOWS A JUDGE TO TEMPORARILY TAKE SOMEONE’S FIREARMS AFTER A COURT HEARING FOUND THEY WERE A DANGER TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. IT IS OFTEN CALLED A RED FLAG LAW, AND 17 OTHER STATES HAVE THEM. THE MEASURES, SENATE BILL 5 AND HOUSE BILL 7, SET OUT A FRAMEWORK FOR WHO COULD PETITION THE COURT FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRICTION, HOW LONG IT LASTS AND HOW LAW ENFORCEMENT WOULD GO ABOUT GETTING THOSE FIREARMS FROM GUN OWNERS. NMIF CORRESPONDENT GWYNETH DOLAND WAS AT THE ROUNDHOUSE TO TALK TO WOMEN AND MEN CONSIDERING THE BILL.  

>>GWYNETH DOLAND: SENATOR ANTOINETTE SEDILLO-LOPEZ, YOU ARE SUPPORTING A BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW LAW ENFORCEMENT TO TAKE GUNS AWAY FROM SOME FOLKS. WHY DO WE NEED THIS?   

>>SENATOR SEDILLO-LOPEZ: THIS IS IMPORTANT TO PREVENT THE KIND OF TRAGEDIES THAT WE SAW IN EL PASO, THAT KIND OF GUN SHOOTINGS WHEN PEOPLE ARE POSING A DANGER TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. IT WILL ALSO PREVENT SUICIDES. WE HAVE VERY POWERFUL TESTIMONY FROM AN INDIVIDUAL WHO FELT LIKE THIS COULD HAVE PREVENTED A GUN SHOOTING OF HER COUSIN, WHO WAS VERY DEPRESSED. SO, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY PREVENT THAT KIND OF NEEDLESS GUN DEATH.  

>>DOLAND: THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO TALKED IN THE COMMITTEE HEARING THIS WEEK ABOUT FEAR THAT THIS IS GOING TO ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO COME IN AND JUST GRAB GUNS INDISCRIMINATELY, ROUND THEM UP, KEEP THEM FOR EVER.   

>>SEDILLO-LOPEZ: THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE. WE HAVE A SECOND AMENDMENT AND THIS IS A VERY, VERY SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE. I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY CASES EXACTLY THERE ARE, BUT, LAST YEAR, WITH THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND GUN SAFETY BILL, ONLY 29 INDIVIDUALS WERE ORDERED TO SURRENDER THEIR GUNS. THIS ISN’T A BIG TAKE AWAY OF GUNS. AND I WOULD NEVER SUPPORT A BIG GOVERNMENT ROUNDUP. WE HAVE A SECOND AMENDMENT.  

>>DOLAND: REP. REHM, YOU SPENT 20 YEARS AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. DO YOU THINK POLICE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TAKE GUNS AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO A JUDGE HAS DETERMINED POSE A THREAT TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS?   

>>REPRESENTATIVE BILL REHM: IF YOU’RE SPEAKING ABOUT THE RED FLAG BILL, THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE JUDGE IS DOING THIS WITHOUT ANY DUE PROCESS. WHAT IS HAPPENING IS THIS IS OCCURRING AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT OUR CONSTITUTION. OUR CONSTITUTION SAYS THAT YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. THE WAY MOST RED FLAG BILLS ARE WRITTEN SAYS, WE ARE GOING TO COME TAKE YOUR WEAPONS ON AN ACCUSATION, NOT A CRIMINAL ACT, AND THEN YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO COME INTO COURT AND PROVE THAT YOU ARE NOT. OUR SYSTEM IS, YOU’RE INNOCENCE UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. THIS TURNS IT BACKWARDS WHERE IT SAYS YOU’RE GUILTY, NOW YOU PROVE TO THE COURT YOU’RE NOT. SO, CONCEPTUALLY WE HAVE PROBLEMS WITH IT FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT. IF A PERSON MAKES A THREAT TO ANOTHER PERSON, WE ALREADY HAVE LAWS FOR THAT. AND THE OFFICER CAN GO IN AND INVESTIGATE IT AND THAT INCLUDES EVEN DOING SEARCH WARRANTS AND TAKING WEAPONS IF THEY BELIEVE THAT THREAT IS CREDIBLE.  

>>DOLAND: SUICIDE, THOUGH. THERE HAS BEEN EMOTIONAL TESTIMONY ABOUT FOLKS WHO TALK ABOUT IT, THEIR FAMILIES ARE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THIS NOTICE AND I MEAN THAT IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME SITUATION.   

>>REHM: SO, LET’S TALK ABOUT SUICIDES. WHEN I WOULD RESPOND TO THEM, IF THERE WAS A FIREARM, I WOULD TAKE THE FIREARM INTO WHAT WE TERM SAFE KEEPING. SO, I WOULD PLACE IT INTO EVIDENCE. AND IT WOULDN’T BE IN THE HOME. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CHANGING THE MENTALLY ILL PORTION OF WHO CAN OBTAIN A FIREARM OR NOT OBTAIN IT, THAT CHANGE NEEDS TO COME FEDERALLY. RIGHT NOW IT IS ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH COURT AND BEEN ADJUDICATED MENTALLY ILL. AND IT NEEDS TO BE A WIDER GROUP, I AGREE, BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE FEDERALLY. WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT LATER.  

>>DOLAND: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO FOLKS WHO WATCHED THE TERRIBLE SHOOTING IN EL PASO, WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED SCHOOL SHOOTINGS HERE IN NEW MEXICO, WHO ARE WATCHING THIS VIOLENCE, VICTIMS OF IT, HOW SHOULD WE STOP THIS VIOLENCE.   

>>REHM: IF WE LOOK AT THE ROOT CAUSE IT IS MENTAL ILLNESS AND I THINK WE ALL WOULD AGREE WITH THAT.  

>>DOLAND: REP. GARRATT, YOU’RE A SPONSOR OF THE RED FLAG BILL. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU?   

>>REPRESENTATIVE JOY GARRATT: I AM SPONSORING THE RED FLAG BILL BECAUSE I AM A TEACHER AND PARENT. LAST YEAR, I HAD TO WORK WITH KINDERGARTENERS AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS TO LEARN HOW TO EVACUATE IN CASE OF A SHOOTER ON CAMPUS. NO CHILD SHOULD HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT. THAT IS MY FIRST MOTIVATION. THE SECOND IS A FRIEND OF MINE’S DAUGHTER HAD A GUN, THEY KNEW SHE WAS SUICIDAL. SHE HAD ACCESS. THEY COULDN’T GET TO HER. THEY COULDN’T CALL A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER TO GET THAT GUN FROM HER, SHE DID SUCCESSFULLY COMMIT SUICIDE. SO, THIS IS A TOOL THAT ALLOWS GUNS TO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM SOMEONE ONLY IF THEY ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER OF HARMING THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. I WANT TO STRESS IMMINENT DANGER.  

>>DOLAND: HOW DO WE KNOW THERE IS IMMINENT DANGER? WHO DECIDES?   

>>GARRATT: AS THE LAW IS CRAFTED, CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WHO FEELS THAT THERE IS EVIDENCE, MAYBE OVER TIME, MAYBE IN A CRISIS SITUATION, CAN GO TO A JUDGE WITH A SWORN AFFIDAVIT STATING THAT THIS PERSON IS AT RISK.  THE JUDGE THEN HAS TO DECIDE TO GRANT THE PROTECTIVE ORDER OR NOT. IT IS NOT AUTOMATIC.  

>>DOLAND: SO, SOME FOLKS SAY, WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF TRYING TO WORK AND PUT MORE RESOURCES TOWARD MENTAL HEALTH BECAUSE THAT IS THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF GUN VIOLENCE.  

>>GARRATT: MENTAL HEALTH IS THE FIRST TIER OF CARE BUT IN SOME OF OUR RURAL COUNTIES, WHERE ACTUALLY THERE IS A HIGHER RATE OF SUICIDE, IT IS NOT AVAILABLE. SO, THIS IS ONE TOOL THAT IS AVAILABLE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT WHEN SOMEONE IS AT RISK FOR COMMITTING SUICIDE.  

>>DOLAND: WHY ARE GUNS SO IMPORTANT IN SUICIDE CASES?   

>>GARRATT: MORE THAN 50% OF THE SUICIDES IN NEW MEXICO — AND NEW MEXICO I BELIEVE HAS THE FOURTH HIGHEST RATES OF SUICIDE — ARE COMMITTED WITH A FIREARM. A YOUNG PERSON WHO IS IMPULSIVE GOING UP AND DOWN EMOTIONALLY, CAN GRAB A GUN WITHOUT THINKING AND             QUICKLY ATTEMPT TO TAKE THEIR LIFE. SO, THAT IS WHY GUNS ARE THE FIRST CONCERN AND I SHOULD ADD, WE HAVE HIGH RATES OF SUICIDE IN OUR 15 TO 23 AGE BRACKET. NATIVE AMERICANS HAVE THE HIGHEST RATE. OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE IN CRISIS SOMETIMES. SO, THIS REALLY PREVENTS TRAGEDY. WILL IT PREVENT EVERY SUICIDE? OF COURSE NOT. IT IS ONE TOOL. 

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