On Tuesday, Democrats in the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee killed a slew of bills sponsored by Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque) that would curb crime relating to fentanyl trafficking, illegal firearm trafficking, and retail theft.
Democrats, on party-line votes, killed all five of Rehm’s bills, even a bill that would have enhanced sentencing for those trafficking 29 fentanyl pills or greater. Rehm made clear he was open to changing the number of fentanyl pills a dealer was peddling, but despite reasonable efforts, the bill died on a 4-2 vote.
Bills that would penalize those who conducted illegal activity while trafficking firearms also died on 4-2 votes, with Democrats and far-left groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claiming the incarceration of these hardened criminals would be bad for New Mexico.
Rehm said following the committee hearing, “Today the progressives made clear that they are unwilling to lock up felons with illegal firearms, but they are willing to make felons out of law-abiding gun owners.”
He added, “Just days ago, we joined the Governor in her office, with statewide media, for productive talks about bipartisan action against crime and today’s disappointing votes reveal that House Democrats on the House Consumer & Public Affairs committee care little about improving public safety in meaningful ways. These political tactics are highly frustrating to the many victims of crime that spend their personal time advocating in Santa Fe for a safer New Mexico.”
Republican Reps. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and John Block (R-Alamogordo) made extensive arguments to pass the bills, but even bills that had Democrat co-sponsors, such as H.B. 59 regarding firearms trafficking, were tabled by the Democrats on the committee.
This development comes after Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham held a press conference with Republicans earlier this month, claiming to want to curb crime. Unfortunately, it appears such bipartisan talks about crime are now dead-on-arrival, at least in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.