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

The bills will be heard for final action at the October 2, 2023 City Council Meeting.
September 15, 2023

Today, City Councilors Dan Lewis, Brook Bassan, Louie Sanchez, and Renée Grout are introducing resolutions that urge State legislative action for public safety and behavioral health improvement at the next State Legislative Session and that affirm the City’s support of constitutional rights of its citizens to keep and bear arms.

"I am heartbroken over the crime in our city," said Councilor Grout, District 9. "This package of resolutions offers real solutions to the problem and demonstrates the City Council's desire to work with the Governor and the Legislature on these issues."

The bills, R-23-170 and R-23-171, will be heard for final action at the City Council Meeting to be held on October 2, 2023.

"State legislative action can play a crucial role in promoting public safety and addressing the challenges of behavioral health,” said Councilor Bassan, District 4. “At the same time, it is important to affirm and protect the constitutional right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Finding a balance between these two goals is essential to ensuring a safe and secure society. We must be careful not to victimize the law-abiding citizens further by taking away their right to bear arms."

R-23-170 urges comprehensive legislative action for public safety and behavioral health improvement at the state level. This resolution urges the Governor to call a special Legislative Session 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.

“The State has recorded revenue surpluses in recent years and it’s time the State uses these revenues for substantial investments in public safety and the behavioral health system,” said Councilor Lewis, District 5.

R-23-171 affirms the City of Albuquerque’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, and declares its opposition to the Governor’s gun prohibition.

“We want to ensure that no actions are taken that would violate the freedoms guaranteed Constitutionally or burden law-abiding citizens who currently lawfully possess firearms,” said Councilor Sanchez, District 1.