A right delayed is a right denied

The mandatory 7-day waiting period to purchase a firearm is now in effect in New Mexico.

As a result, law-abiding citizens can no longer walk into a store, purchase the firearm of their choice, pass a federal background check, and leave with that firearm to defend themselves and their families. The National Rifle Association has filed suit to halt the law, but there is no guarantee we will have any relief in the short term.

Careful observers of the 2024 session will remember that under the guise of “addressing crime” and “reducing suicides,” radical Democrats in Santa Fe rammed this misguided measure through the House and Senate, and quickly sent it to the Governor’s desk for her signature. Together with my Republican colleagues, I relentlessly fought this unconstitutional waiting period in committees and during floor debates, but to no avail. The Governor and progressive Democrats made no room for reason or logic in their ongoing effort to chip away at our Second Amendment rights, and this bill is likely just the beginning.

Not only are there significant constitutional questions with this law, but the legislative process itself exposed the lunacy and ignorance of its sponsors and supporters. The bill began with a 14-business-day waiting period before being amended to calendar days. It was then amended to 7 business days, before landing at 7 calendar days. The proposal changed quickly and with no resistance from the Democrats because even they knew there was no substantial evidence to support their claims. So let’s call this out for what it is—an attack on law-abiding citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms. It’s a statement from those in power that “we are in control and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Fortunately for us, that is not the case. 

Republicans and traditional Democrats alike understand the Constitution of the United States. We may not all be lawyers, but we can read. I can speak on behalf of my Republican colleagues in the Legislature when I say that the fight to protect our rights is never going to end.

I applaud and stand in support of the National Rifle Association’s legal challenge to this newly enacted law. My message to the Governor and radical progressive legislators is this: Our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Rest assured, voters will remember this attack on their right to protect themselves when they visit the voting booths in November. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “a right delayed is a right denied.”

New Mexico State Sen. Steven McCutcheon II serves the 42nd District, which encompasses Chaves, Eddy, and Lea Counties.

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