New Mexico legislators tried to pass Red Flag laws last year but encountered resistance from a source that most on the left wouldn’t have expected: the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association.
But as usual, leftists don’t give up. Democrat Senator Joseph Cervantes filed another Red Flag bill for the 2020 legislative session. And the Governor, Democrat Michelle Grisham is supporting him in his efforts.
But once again, the New Mexico Sheriff’s association isn’t having it. In a recent interview, several sheriffs expressed their deep concerns about the bill.
Bad In Theory
A common refrain was that Red Flag laws violate due process. Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Sheppard said, “We have a duty to follow the Constitution and this bill violates due process, because there is no hearing before the government confiscates possessions. It violates unlawful search and seizure 4th Amendment and the 5th Amendment. Someone can have this happen to them without ever committing a criminal act.”
That’s it. But once you’ve been ‘red flagged,’ good luck convincing anybody that you’re an innocent, law-abiding citizen who hasn’t committed a crime.
One other point the Sheriff’s association made was that it made it impossible for a judge to be impartial. Sheriff Sheppard went on, “It… gives authorization for a judge to issue a search warrant. They cannot do that, because there are the triers of the facts. As a law enforcement officer, we have to go and swear to the facts to be the officiate for a search warrant. These are misdemeanor charges and you can’t get [a] search warrant for that.”
Bad in Practice
One final objection–one we haven’t seen other law enforcement point out–was the extra financial and burden this places on law enforcement.
Under the bill, the Sheriff is required to store any of these confiscated firearms or ammunition. This might not seem like a big deal, but even one or two guys’ collections could soon take a good deal of space. Add in that everybody in town knows you’re storing dozens or hundreds of guns and the security will have to be beefed up.
In an outrageous twist, if the guns are not returned to their original, rightful owner for whatever reason the lawyers and the judges concoct, the guns will be sold. And this money, rather than going to the person who has lost their guns and their gun rights goes to the State of New Mexico! Not the original owner who spent his own money on them, not to the Sheriff department who has had to do any actual work and incur any actual cost! No, to shore up the bottom line of the ever-spending, all-consuming state!
Hit Now, Hit Hard!
New Mexico, now is the time to be putting hot and heavy pressure on your legislators! Call them, email them, and tell them that you will NOT forget how they vote on this bill come election time. Then call and email them again tomorrow!
Meanwhile, our hats off to Sheriff Sheppard and the entire Sheriff’s Association for taking this bold stand. If you happen to live in New Mexico, call your local Sheriff and thank him for standing up for your gun rights!