New Mexico’s 2024 legislative session, running from Jan. 16 to Feb. 15, is poised to address critical issues, particularly gun violence. In a recent update on the Public Health Order, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham acknowledged the urgency of tackling the escalating problem of “gun violence.”
She emphasized, “Gun violence is out of control. Public safety and crime are out of control.” The governor outlined plans for the upcoming 30-day session, focusing on public safety, police retention and recruitment, and potential enhancements to existing laws.
Governor Lujan Grisham expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of the anti-gun forcible locking up of firearms law passed in 2023 but said there is a need for even more anti-gun laws, per KOAT 7. She emphasized a multifaceted approach, including educational initiatives for parents and families, expanding successful programs like the Violence Intervention Program at schools, and launching targeted campaigns to reach students directly. The governor affirmed her commitment to strengthening laws if needed, citing the “red flag” law as a potential area for improvement.
During a press conference in December, Governor Lujan Grisham also announced plans to include an “assault weapons” ban on the legislative agenda. NMSU’s Assistant Professor of Government, Dr. Cory Sukala, acknowledged the challenges of addressing gun-related legislation in a month-long session, especially with budgetary considerations taking precedence. Dr. Sukala highlighted the governor’s ability to influence legislative priorities but noted that they aren’t legally binding directives.
Given the limited time during regular sessions, Dr. Sukala suggested the possibility of a special session dedicated solely to addressing public safety and violence-related concerns. That would likely take place due to the lack of support in the current Legislature to ram through anti-gun bills, even from Democrats. That’s why the governor would have to force the issue in a special session if she is to see any such anti-gun “assault” bill pass.
Sukala emphasized that such a move would underscore the governor’s obsession with snatching guns by any means necessary. As New Mexico gears up for its legislative session, the debate around gun control legislation and public safety measures is set to take center stage.