Politics

New Mexico Counties Provide ‘Sanctuary’ For Gun Owners

gun flag Second Amendment Constitutional Shutterstock/Stephanie Frey

The term “sanctuary city” has taken on a new meaning in one of the country’s most liberal states.

The new unified Democratic government in New Mexico is considering sweeping gun control legislation, including Senate Bill (S.B.) 8, which narrowly passed the State Senate earlier this month. The bill establishes universal background checks for gun sales in the state.

Because of this push, New Mexico cities are taking precautions and passing resolutions to make it clear that they won’t enforce such legislation, should it become law. (RELATED: New Mexico Late-Term Abortion Bill Sparks Some First Amendment Concerns)

So far, at least 18 the state’s 33 counties have passed resolutions saying they won’t enforce gun control bills being considered in the legislature, while 29 of the state’s 33 sheriffs have signed a letter saying they won’t be able to enforce the legislation being considered.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, newly-elected Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham accused the counties of “fear-mongering,” and claimed, without evidence, that the National Rifle Association (NRA) was behind the push. (RELATED: Michelle Lujan Grisham Wins New Mexico Gubernatorial Race)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 27: U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

But Republican lawmakers say that counties are simply taking preemptive actions to protect the constitutional rights of their constituents.

“This is a sort of preemptive action,” Republican state Rep. Alonzo Baldonado told The Daily Caller. “The vast majority of the state is rural. These folks are standing up.”

Baldonado also told the Caller that the resolutions passed by the counties are meant to send a message to Lujan Grisham and undecided Democrats in the legislature.

“Second amendment rights are very important to the people of New Mexico,” Baldonado said. “It doesn’t look like we’ll be able stop these bills from passing, but [the resolutions] send a message to the legislature and the governor.”

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