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City Councilors Approve Urging Legislative Action for Public Safety and Behavioral Health, and Affirm Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The bills were approved at the October 2, 2023 City Council Meeting.
October 05, 2023

At Monday’s City Council Meeting, Councilors approved bills R-23-170 and R-23-171, the bills urged legislative action for public safety and behavioral health improvement at the next State Legislative Session and affirmed the Council’s support of the constitutional right of its citizens to keep and bear arms. Both pieces of legislation were sponsored by City Councilors Dan Lewis, Brook Bassan, Louie Sanchez, and Renée Grout. The bills now go to the Mayor for signature.

“This is a response to the Governor making a public health emergency declaration,” said Councilor Bassan. “If it is so dire and so extreme, that she will call a public health emergency because of the crime in Albuquerque, then there should be a response to that. This is us saying; it’s that bad, we agree with you.”

“This bill talks about what the Governor championed last year,” said Councilor Lewis. “In regard to pre-trial detention, giving judges tools when people commit violent crimes, to be able to keep them in jail while awaiting trial.”

R-23-170 urges comprehensive legislative action for public safety and behavioral health improvement at the state level. This resolution urges the Governor, State Senate, and State House to prioritize allocating the necessary resources to combat the addiction epidemic, enhance mental health services, and improve addiction treatment access throughout the state. It calls for the Governor and State Legislature to prioritize reform of the pretrial detention system, especially for individuals charged with serious and violent crimes. Other prioritizations should include continued funding of the warrant enforcement program at the current levels for the next five years and the passing of legislation that imposes a lifetime sentence for repeat offenders who use firearms in a violent crime after committing a third violent offence.

“Last year there were several crime bills that were introduced, and a lot of those bills were very good bills. They should be reconsidered,” said Councilor Grout.

“I urge the Governor to call a special session,” said Councilor Sanchez. “The Governor called a special session for cannabis and the fact that we are in a crisis, a special session really needs to be considered.”

R-23-171 affirms the City Council’s support of the constitutional rights of its citizens to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for other lawful purposes. The bill was in response to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s gun prohibition order made on September 8, 2023, which has since been amended to focus only on parks and playgrounds.