There are three new Albuquerque gun bills passed recently. What do these gun bills say? Let's dive deeper into these new bills below.
Albuquerque Gun Bills: Attention Gun Owners
September 21, 2020, saw the Albuquerque, New Mexico city counselors vote on three gun bills that would, if passed, affect every gun owner in the city, as well as affect statewide gun legislation for the foreseeable future.
Let’s examine these bills, what they entailed, and investigate the vote’s results and their aftermath.
The Bills – What Did They Say?
There were three bills brought to Albuquerque's city council that Monday.
The push for passing the legislature was largely spearheaded by City Council President Pat Davis.
He said that the goal was to “set a higher standard for gun owners” and for the city council to step up on “behalf of public safety in the community.”
The first of these bills would require that all legal gun owners keep their firearms locked up when not in use.
This would, in practice, prevent gun owners from displaying their firearms, such as on a mantle.
This bill failed, as some counselors raised a few concerns about the enforceability of the law and its constitutionality.
The second bill would make it a crime to make any threat of mass violence.
Plus, add to the already in place ordinances for city school threats.
In a nutshell, this would criminalize anyone who made shooting threats against any public building.
While these actions were already criminal, this bill would reclassify the crimes under this specific legislation, allowing for more targeted punishment and a smoother judicial process.
This bill, being the least drastic and the easiest to implement, was the only one of all three bills to pass.
The last bill would make it illegal to bring a gun onto any city public property, including city hall, the post office, and similar structures.
However, this bill was shot down specifically because some counselors decreed that responsible gun owners have the right to defend themselves.
For instance, if someone couldn’t bring their gun into a post office during a robbery, they wouldn’t feel protected.
The Effects of the Vote
Only the Mass Violence Ordinance passed, so it will go to Albuquerque’s mayor, Tim Keller, to be signed sometime this week.
If signed, the bill will go into effect throughout Albuquerque in mid-October.
Among other effects, it may allow the Albuquerque Police Department to subpoena social media companies and track down where digital threats of mass violence may be originating from.
What This Looks Like in the Context of the Greater Gun Control Debate
Ultimately, the Albuquerque vote results are not unsurprising given the political environment of the surrounding area and the widespread gun ownership both in Albuquerque and surrounding communities.
The place is still largely Republican and conservative, which means most voters and constituents are anti-gun control except for rare instances.
Notably, many of the counselors voted because they received emails or other communications from their constituents.
Those emails explain that they didn’t want their own gun ownership limited, not necessarily because they didn’t see the danger of criminals having easy access to weapons.
This highlights an important part of the gun control debate.
Many liberals believe conservatives don’t care about criminals getting guns, but they do.
They just care about being able to have their own firearms more.
It’s a difference in emphasis and, to some extent, faith in emergency services.
Many pro-gun voters simply believe they’ll be in a better position to defend themselves in an emergency than the police.
For now, Albuquerque will likely remain strongly anti-gun control.
These rulings may also have ripple effects in other New Mexico communities and emphasize the positive aspects of gun freedom.
Time will tell whether news of this vote impacts the national debate or changes opinions on either side.
What is your take on the Albuquerque gun bills? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!