The sanctuary movement got its start when 29 New Mexico sheriffs came out in opposition of the proposed gun bills. This, in fact, means that every sheriff except for four formally opposed the new bills being considered.
“When you look at the 29 sheriffs that oppose it, they’re all rural New Mexico sheriffs,” said Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, chairman of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association. “The ones that stayed on the fence were Santa Fe County, which is heavily populated … Doña Ana County, same thing, and Bernalillo County, which is the heaviest populated county in the whole state.”
Recently, Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales issued a statement in support of creating a Second Amendment sanctuary county. However, Bernalillo County commissioners aren’t likely to pass such a resolution. In fact, most expressed support for similar gun-control laws over the years.
Counties Passing Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions
Like many states, New Mexico is largely rural with a few large cities. And, of course, the legislature works out of one of the biggest cities. Also, the makeup of the legislature comes from population across the state. So, more legislators come from urban and suburban areas rather than rural. Because of this, the legislature wants to push through universal background checks and red flag laws. These resolutions come from rural areas pushing back against what they believe are unconstitutional laws. Most of those supporting these resolutions also say that the proposed gun laws would only limit law-bidding citizens’ access to guns for protection. This includes Sheriff Gonzales. Still, not everyone agrees these resolutions are the best idea.
In Valencia County, one commissioner voted against the measure, saying that telling officers to not enforce certain laws sets a bad precedent. Only time will tell if these resolutions will get the attention of those in the legislature, and whether they are legal if the gun laws pass. It is very likely that the courts will review these resolutions, but they do show the large support of police regarding guns.
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