Renato Costa

Anti-gun bills referred to legislative committees

On the second day of the 2023 Legislative Session, progressive legislation was referred to House committees for consideration. Some of the proposals include sweeping gun bans to assault New Mexicans’ constitutional rights. Here are some of the bills that will be going through committees soon.

H.B. 9 by state Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-Bernalillo), will force New Mexicans to lock up their firearms in “a gun safe or a device that prevents a firearm from being discharged or from being used to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion or a device other than a gun safe that locks a firearm and is designed to prevent children and unauthorized users from firing a firearm, which device may be installed on a firearm, be incorporated into the design of the firearm or prevent access to the firearm.”

If the gun owner does not lock up any and all firearms and their gun somehow was used in an offense by a minor causing “great bodily harm” or death, the parent of that child could be made a felon if the victim of the crime is killed or permanently disabled. 

H.B. 9 has been referred to House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (HCPAC) and then House Judiciary Committee. No committee times have yet been posted for HCPAC, but hearings are expected within the week.

H.B. 50, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Bernalillo), will ban magazines over nine rounds, making all owners of such firearms felons. The bill has been referred to House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, House Judiciary Committee (HJC), and the House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC). No dates have yet been set on HCPAC for a hearing.

H.B. 72, also by Roybal Caballero, would make it a felony to possess a bump stock, binary trigger, or anything else that “increased the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm.” The bill has been referred to Judiciary and HAFC. No dates have yet been set for a hearing yet.

H.B. 100, by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe), would mandate a 14-day waiting period before someone could purchase a gun from a Federal Firearms License (FFL).

H.B. 101, also by Romero, aims to ban magazines, but for those that are ten and under, while also banning so-called “assault weapons.” The legislation has not yet been referred to a committee.

S.B. 44, by Majority Senate Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), would ban firearms at polling places. That bill has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee and then the Senate Judiciary Committee. No dates have yet been set for a hearing as of publication.

Keep track of bills scheduled for the committees by visiting the NMLegis.gov website’s “What’s Happening” page.

Opening day: MLG goes leftward, Dems boot moderate from powerful chair post

On Tuesday, the New Mexico Legislature met for the first session of the 56th Legislature, which is meeting for 60 days this year. 17 new members were sworn in, and Democrats elected Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Bernalillo) as the next state House speaker, succeeding former Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). 

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also gave her annual “State of the State” address, where she made clear her priority to ram through $10 million in funding for a new Las Cruces abortion facility and codify abortion up to birth into law.

She also announced she wants socialized “universal health care” in New Mexico, taxpayer-funded paid family leave, expanded “free” college programs, as well as millions more to fund the state’s already failing schools that rank behind all other states and the District of Columbia. She also called for a new state department, the “New Mexico Health Care Authority” to help enact her universal healthcare dreams, as well as universal gun bans in the state.

But the most surprising takeaway from the meeting of the 56th Legislature on opening day was the removal of more moderate Rep. Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup) from the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Speaker Martinez put progressive Rep. Nathan Small in the spot instead, garnering confusion about the leadership mixup.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Lundstrom said following the news, “This is unbelievable.” She told the Albuquerque Journal, “I’m incredibly disappointed, and I’m absolutely shocked.” She said Martínez “said I don’t meet his vision.”

“The speaker has the responsibility and the prerogative to organize the House committees as he feels best meets the current needs of New Mexico,” House Democratic spokeswoman Camille Ward told the Journal. “With new leadership on both sides of the aisle and on many of our committees in this session, Speaker Martínez is beginning a new chapter to move New Mexico forward.”

Another member making a large move is Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), who was moved from the chairwoman of House Taxation and Revenue to the powerful House Judiciary Committee, succeeding Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo), who was recently elected Democrat House floor leader.

Initiatives Democrats seek to pass during the legislature include many of Lujan Grisham’s proposals, as well as “modernizing” the state legislature from a “citizen legislature” to a “professional legislature” where members of the House and Senate are paid, while they each are granted funds for district offices in their respective areas of the state. 

Lujan Grisham surprises with support for ‘School Choice Week’

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made a surprise proclamation honoring School Choice Week, which commemorates school choice and the betterment of educational opportunities for students. 

Lujan Grisham declared January 22-28, 2023 as School Choice Week in the state, writing in the proclamation that “educational variety not only helps to diversify our economy, but also enhances the vibrancy of our community.”

She recognized that New Mexico has “many high-quality teaching professionals in all types of school settings who are committed to educating our children.”

Now, as the 2023 Legislative Session rolls around on Tuesday, she will have the opportunity to push for and sign legislation that will enshrine school choice in New Mexico.

State Sen. Craig Brandt (R-Sandoval) is sponsoring a school choice bill enacting “Education Freedom Accounts, which can be used to pay for private school tuition, tutoring services, textbooks, and instructional materials, nationally standardized assessments, and other educational charges” approved by the Public Education Department.

“It outlines the application process and procedures for parents and education service providers, as well as the rules and responsibilities of the parents and students,” and “creates an Education Freedom Review Commission to assist the department in determining what expenditures are qualifying educational expenses,” according to Brandt.

A similar bill being sponsored by state Rep.-elect John Block (R-Otero), will enable open enrollment for students to attend other schools in their district or outside of their district if their zoned educational resources are failing. Block believes no child should have to be stuck in a failing school just because of where they live in New Mexico.

Enacting school choice, which is a non-partisan issue, has shown to be an incredible step forward in creating quality education in other states. If New Mexico enacts such changes, it could lift the state from being 51st in education and propel it on the path to educational betterment.

Editor’s note: Block is the founder and editor of the Piñon Post, New Mexico’s #1 conservative online news publication.

Pro-abortion legislators insist they will ‘codify’ abortion up to birth into NM law

Far-left pro-abortion legislators are chomping at the bit to ram through even more pro-abortion legislation, although New Mexico has effectively already legalized abortion up to birth and infanticide with no protections whatsoever for women, babies, or medical professionals.

Despite the extremist anti-life agenda seeping through New Mexico via repeals of health protections for pregnant women and killing the terminally ill via cocktails of lethal unproven drugs, the far-left Democrats want even more of the life-ending policies.

Rep. Linda Serrato (D-Santa Fe) and Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Bernalillo) are planning on “codifying” abortion up to birth and infanticide into state law after Democrats in 2021 stripped protections, effectively legalizing just that. 

The Democrats claim that women should have unadulterated access to killing children in the womb “without a fear of retribution or shame or jail,” according to Serrato.

The bill, which is not listed as pre-filed on the New Mexico Legislature website, is reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican to mimic Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order that decreed “abortion is an essential part of reproductive health care and must remain legal, safe and accessible.” Abortion is neither health care, since it ends a life instead of protecting one, and is not reproductive since it stops the reproductive process.

Lujan Grisham also is attempting to pass $10 million in funding to open a new abortion facility in Las Cruces to end the lives of the babies of Texas women traveling to the Land of Enchantment seeking the death-inducing procedure.

The New Mexican claims the radical anti-life bill “is likely to pass and end up on Lujan Grisham’s desk for her signature” due to the heavily Democrat makeup of the Legislature. Despite the political makeup, many Democrats in New Mexico are pro-life, with recent polls by the Albuquerque Journal and others showing New Mexicans of all political affiliations overwhelmingly support limits on abortion. 

Pro-life legislators are also sponsoring life-affirming bills that will protect life in the womb.

Dems drop two new radical anti-gun bills ahead of 2023 Legislature

On Thursday and Friday, Democrats dropped more anti-gun bills to assault New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights. 

On Thursday, far-left legislators state Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Bernalillo) and state Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Bernalillo) dropped H.B. 72, which makes it illegal to “knowingly possess

or transfer a semiautomatic firearm converter,” making the sale of any kind of modification device to enhance usability a fourth-degree felon.

H.B. 72 requests $1.5 million from the state to enforce the extreme anti-gun bill.

Another bill, H.B. 101 by far-left state Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe), bans large-capacity magazines “regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm.” It forces anyone owning such magazines to “remove the large-capacity magazine from the state,” “sell the large-capacity magazine to a licensed firearms dealer,” or “surrender the large-capacity magazine to a law enforcement agency for destruction.” It includes no grandfather clause and would take effect July 1, 2023, if passed. Any violator of the proposed law would be a fourth-degree felon.

Furthermore, anyone who owns any semi-automatic firearm, which Romero dubs an “assault” weapon, would be forced to either “remove the assault weapon from the state,” “render the assault weapon permanently inoperable,” or “surrender the assault weapon to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction.” Like the previous section of the bill, anyone not in compliance will become a fourth-degree felon.

These new anti-gun bills are just the beginning for anti-gun Democrats’ gun-grabbing agenda, which is sure to only increase, with the four already filed bills dropping before the 2023 Legislative Session starting on January 17. It is unclear if more will drop over the weekend or after the legislature goes into session.

All of the bills already proposed have either been stricken down in other states or are ripe for litigation due to their flagrant violation of the Second and Fourth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as violations against the New Mexico state Constitution. 

Dems drop first anti-gun bill of the 2023 Legislative Session

On Monday, far-left New Mexico state Rep. Patricia Roybal-Caballero (D-Bernalillo) dropped the Democrats’ first anti-gun bill of the 2023 Legislative Session, H.B. 50. The bill is a magazine ban that would make violations of the bill if passed, felons.

The bill reads, “It is unlawful for a person to possess or transfer a large-capacity magazine within New Mexico, except when the person is: a resident of another state who transports a large-capacity magazine into New Mexico for use exclusively in an established shooting competition” or “a peace officer, in accordance with the policies of the peace officer’s law enforcement agency,” with multiple caveats. Other minor exceptions include being a member of the armed forces, certain manufacturers, certain armored vehicle operators, or those displaying such weapons in government-run museums or exhibits. 

It continues, “A person who violates the provisions of Subsection A of this section is guilty of a fourth degree felony and upon conviction shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.”

Roybal-Caballero requests $1.5 million in state funds to carry out this gun grab throughout 2024, “including the funding of additional local and statewide law enforcement, court process, and incarceration.” She apparently is seeking to lock up more people in prison to push for her anti-gun agenda, despite Democrats claiming to want fewer people in prison.

The bill will likely be just the first of a flurry of bills that are hostile to the Second Amendment and New Mexicans’ other constitutional rights. Other proposals floated include creating a state office of “Gun Violence Prevention,” as well as an addition to New Mexico’s “red flag” bills. 

Read the bill and its supporting information here

NM’s congressional reps. cozy up to socialist ‘Squad’ leader AOC

On Saturday, following the U.S. House floor vote leading to the election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker, two members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation were spotted hanging out with none other than socialist “Squad” leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the sponsor of the Green New Deal.

In a photo posted on Saturday, Democrat New Mexico Rep. Melanie Stansbury of the First District posted a photo of her, House Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pamila Jayapal (D-WA), Democrat Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez of New Mexico’s Third District, and none other than Ocasio-Cortez. 

She wrote in the caption, “A little bleary eyed around 2am this morning—celebrating being sworn with these amazing ladies. 118th Congress, Let’s do this!”

New Mexicans responded to the socialist quartet of lawmakers, with one New Mexican writing, “Will you do anything other than take selfies and pay yourselves on the back this year?”

Another wrote, “Not company you should be proud of keeping. Do you represent NM or far left, divisive, bigots like the two clowns in the middle of the pic. Shame on you Ms. Stansbury, shame on you.”

“Oh sorry you were inconvenienced by elected officials actually fighting for their constituents,” one person wrote regarding the 15 ballots it took to have McCarthy meet the demands of representatives whose constituents had concerns about his election as speaker.

All three of New Mexico’s U.S. representatives are Democrats after leftists in the state legislature gerrymandered the congressional map to heavily shift the Second District toward Democrats, leading to the election of far-left Rep. Gave Vasquez, another supporter of enviro-Marxist politicies despite the oil and gas-rich district.

Border Patrol agent in NM shot multiple times by trafficker

On Thursday, a U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot multiple times by a human smuggler in a vehicle at approximately 11:30 a.m. on State Road 146.

Fox News reported, “The agent, assigned to Lordsburg, New Mexico, was wearing body armor at the time and survived, officials said…. After being shot, the unidentified agent returned fire as the vehicle sped away. That vehicle was involved in an accident a few miles down the road and rolled over.”

Six people inside the vehicle were reportedly taken into custody, while two were flown to a trauma center in El Paso, Texas. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New Mexico State Police, and other law enforcement agencies are investigating the shooting.

Following the news, state Rep.-elect Jenifer Jones (R-Deming), who represents a border district, wrote in a statement, “The shooting of our New Mexico border patrol agent yesterday highlights the escalating crisis we face here on our southern border. I am beyond grateful that miraculously our agent escaped serious injury and death. At the same time, I am deeply concerned about the safety of our citizens, our law enforcement and all who will suffer if our unsecured border continues to spiral out of control.”

“Our government, both federal and state, must acknowledge and take ownership of this crisis. We must take a strong stance against crime and the criminals who are threatening our lives and livelihood. We must move quickly with decisive action toward securing our southern border.” 

Joe Biden is expected to visit the border on Sunday in El Paso, which marks the first time he has focused on the sweeping immigration issue that has plagued the country under his tenure. Since his installation, there have been over 5.3 million illegal border crossings and over 900,000 “got-aways” escaping into the country, according to the Republican National Committee. 

In latest snub to NM doctors, MLG gets knee replaced in D.C.

In her latest snub to New Mexico healthcare professionals, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, 63, is once again fleeing the state for Washington, D.C. to get her knee replaced. This comes after a previous September 2022 visit to the nation’s capital, where she had “a consultation on an ongoing knee injury with an orthopedic surgeon from whom she has previously received treatment, according to her office,” as reported at the time. 

Now, the governor’s office has confirmed she will be going off to D.C. again. The Associated Press reported, “Lujan Grisham was scheduled to depart Tuesday and return next week after the replacement of her right knee with an artificial joint. She consulted with an orthopedic surgeon in September after aggravating a previous injury.”

The Albuquerque Journal noted that the governor is expected to return to New Mexico in time for the January 17 opening day festivities of the Legislature, where she will deliver her State of the State address.

“Lujan Grisham spokeswoman, Nora Meyers Sackett, said Tuesday the governor expects to deliver an in-person State of the State Address on the opening day of the 60-day legislative session. She has delivered the speech remotely during each of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Journal noted.

It is unclear why the governor snubbed New Mexico doctors, who could have easily performed the routine knee replacement surgery in-state. It is also unclear who she may be meeting with while in Washington, D.C.

Previously, Lujan Grisham was angered over a debate with her former opponent, Republican Mark Ronchetti, who would not sit at a table to spar with the scandal-ridden governor. Instead, he stood at a podium, which is customary for debates.

Lujan Grisham has planned to attempt to ram through many far-left policy proposals in the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session, including trying to codify abortion up-to-birth and infanticide into state law, as well as enviro-Marxist proposals to enshrine her Green New Deal.

All three of NM’s congressional reps. back extremist Jeffries for speaker

On Tuesday, the first day of the 118th Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives met at noon for inaugural ceremonies and to choose a new House speaker. After three ballots, there is still no new speaker in the newly GOP-led chamber. This came following Republican victories in the November 8 election that put Democrats in the minority.

Democrat New Mexico legislators drew extreme partisan gerrymandered maps that guaranteed three Democrat seats, which robbed the state’s lone GOP member, U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, of her seat for progressive Gabe Vasquez in the Second Congressional District. Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the maps into law. They are currently in litigation, expected to reach the state Supreme Court for arguments on January 9, 2023.

All three of New Mexico’s delegation backed Nancy Pelosi ally Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in the contest for speaker, while Republicans failed to successfully launch exiting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to the speaker post. The Democrats unanimously cast 212 votes for Jeffries. The speaker needs 218 votes to earn the gavel.

Democrat Reps. Melanie Stansbury of the First District and Teresa Leger Fernandez of the Third District joined Vasquez in backing the New York Democrat for the speakership. Jeffries denied the 2016 presidential election and has been extreme on all issues, from abortion to policing. 

The House is adjourned until Wednesday, when a fourth ballot will be taken for Republicans to come together and get to 218 with McCarthy or another nominee. Some have nominated Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for the top spot, with some formerly McCarthy votes, such as Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), now backing Jordan.

UPDATE: On Wednesday, the U.S. House took its sixth vote, which also resulted in McCarthy losing with House Freedom Caucus members backing Donalds for speaker over the California Republican. The House is adjourned until another vote will be taken.