Governor signs extreme-risk measure into law
Allows temporary removal of firearms based on threats, behavior
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed into law an important measure enhancing public safety and reducing the risk of mass gun violence.
Senate Bill 5 provides for extreme-risk protection orders, which empower law enforcement officers to temporarily disarm individuals who present a clear danger to themselves or others in emergency situations. It is a proven-effective tool law enforcement officers can use to address gun violence in communities across New Mexico, a state with unconscionably high per-capita rates of firearm deaths and suicide.
“New Mexico has balanced individual rights and public safety in a responsible way that will reduce our unacceptable suicide rate and other forms of gun violence,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “The Legislature had the strength to pass this measure because we all recognize: Enough is enough. And we have the power to change the dynamic of gun violence in our communities. Today we are standing up – we do not accept the status quo; we do not accept the risk posed by dangerous armed individuals who have articulated their desire to cause harm.
“This law is sensible and balanced. It is a good public safety measure. If it saves even one life, and it will, we will have done good work here. My thanks to the Legislature and the committed advocates who have fought and continue to fight for progress on gun safety.”
The measure empowers law enforcement officers to ask a court in a sworn statement to temporarily remove firearms and ammunition from individuals who are threatening to harm themselves or others. A court hearing on the emergency order must be held within 10 days, and the weapons must be returned when the order expires.
Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes and Reps. Daymon Ely and Joy Garratt, passed the Senate on a 22-20 vote and passed the House 39-31.
“Without doubt today’s law will save lives while striking the right balance in respecting responsible and lawful gun ownership,” Cervantes said.
“With the governor’s signature, New Mexico is joining the 17 other states who have chosen to no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening with violence in our country,” Ely said. “I am proud of the work we have done to get this passed and proud that New Mexico is serious about saving lives.”
“This law is an excellent balance between the right to bear arms and public safety,” Garratt said. “As other states have demonstrated, this measure saves lives. I am deeply encouraged with this signing that New Mexico will be a model to other states struggling with gun violence.”
With enactment, New Mexico joins 17 states with ERPO laws; the states are represented by leadership of both political parties. President Donald Trump endorsed extreme-risk protection orders in August after mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.