Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, recently introduced a controversial bill that would make it a third-degree felony for any government official or firearm dealer to enforce federal gun laws in the state of New Mexico.
If passed, House Bill 114 also would negate any federal regulation to restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or to require registration of a firearm or firearm accessory.
Gun control has become a national debate due to mass shootings around the country. New Mexico recently became one of many states to have a shooting incident, as a teenage boy is accused of killing five members of his family, including his young siblings, using guns found in the home.
President Barack Obama has proposed that Congress adopt new federal gun restrictions, including legislation that would require background checks for all gun purchases, ban some assault-style weapons and ban ammunition clips that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Espinoza said the president’s executive orders create “a question mark as to our Second Amendment rights.”
Everyone has the right to defend themselves and their families under the Second Amendment, she said, and she commended Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon for recently declaring his support of it.
Since the state has previously passed legislation that conflicted with federal laws on issues such as driver’s licenses and marijuana, Espinoza said she does not think the bill is overstepping any boundaries.
“If the president chooses not to protect our Second Amendment rights, we should have the right to,” she said. “It’s about our freedoms and standing up for them.”
She said gun restriction laws are based more on emotion than logic. “If [criminals] have a knife, do we ban knives?” she said. “If they use rope, do we ban rope? Criminals will use anything to commit crimes.”
Instead of more laws for law-abiding citizens, Espinoza said the president should put more focus on crimes, such as drug and illegal weapon trafficking, and criminals themselves, particularly on the issue of mental health.