- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2020

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Hundreds of advocates for gun rights rallied Friday at the New Mexico Statehouse in a show of force against a proposed law that allows the confiscation of guns that has the support of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The bill from Democratic state lawmakers would allow law enforcement officials or family members to seek court orders to seize firearms temporarily from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

At the outdoor rally in Santa Fe, Republican state lawmakers, including Rep. Candy Ezzell of Roswell, urged opponents of the bill to lobby their state senators and representatives. The entire Legislature is up for election this year.

“This is about gun confiscation, pure and simple,” said state Republican Rep. Gregg Schmedes of Tijeras. “This is about the far left saying you need to be more like me.”

Several county sheriffs and at least two district attorneys denounced the bill as an infringement on rights against unreasonable searches and seizures and other constitutional guarantees.

The act “is currently over-broad,” said John Sugg, district attorney for Lincoln and Otero counties. “It has significant constitutional issues and it provides great potential for abuse.”

Proponents say new legislation is needed to respond to warning signs that may appear before mass shootings and suicides.

Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said the bill provides a sorely needed mechanism for law enforcement to respond more directly to threats of gun violence.

“If you are not making threats against other people or yourself, you have nothing to be afraid of,” he said.

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