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Gov. Lujan Grisham strengthens public safety by signing robust legislation into law 

Mar 4, 2024 | Press Releases

ALBUQUERQUE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today signed critical public safety legislation to reduce gun violence and strengthen penalties for violent criminals.  

“This legislation strikes at the heart of issues that are keeping New Mexicans up at night,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We are losing far too many lives when guns get into the wrong hands and violent criminals are allowed to recommit again and again. This legislation addresses both.”

House Bill 129, Firearm Sale Waiting Period Crimes, establishes a statewide 7-day waiting period for the purchase of firearms, double the current waiting period required by the federal government. The law includes exemptions for concealed carry permit holders, Federal Firearms Licensees, transactions between law enforcement officers, law enforcement agencies, and immediate family members. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Andrea Romero, Dayan Hochman-Vigil and Cristina Parajon, and Sens. Linda M. Lopez and Joseph Cervantes. 

“We are taking a commonsense step to save lives and make communities safer across New Mexico,” said lead sponsor Rep. Andrea Romero. “This 7-day cooling-off period will help prevent impulsive acts of violence and self-harm and give law enforcement the time they need to complete necessary background checks to keep New Mexicans safe.”  

“Waiting periods create a buffer between the time a gun is purchased and possessed, which can help prevent impulsive acts of gun violence,” said Sean Holihan, State Legislative Director for GIFFORDS. “This period can also give law enforcement the additional time they need to complete background checks. GIFFORDS thanks the legislature and Governor Lujan Grisham for their leadership in protecting their communities from gun violence.” 

Senate Bill 5, Firearms Near Polling Places, prohibits carrying firearms within 100 feet of polling places and ballot receptacles, preventing intimidation and violence as New Mexicans exercise their right to vote. Exemptions are granted to law enforcement personnel, concealed carry permit holders. The bill is sponsored by sponsored by Sens. Peter Wirth, Reena Szczepanski, Brenda McKenna and Joseph Cervantes. 

“Guns and voting are a toxic mix. As elections have become known targets for threats and intimidation, it’s important we are enacting this legislation ahead of the upcoming election cycle,” said lead sponsor Sen. Peter Wirth. “I want to thank Governor Lujan Grisham for signing this bill and ensuring that voters and our valued poll workers can feel safe and free from threats of gun violence or intimidation at polling locations.” 

“We are grateful to Senator Wirth and New Mexico for leading the way in 2024 to protect election workers and voters from gun violence and intimidation at the polls,” said Allison Anderman, Consultant with the Brennan Center. “American democracy stands on a precipice and it is more important than any time in recent history to ensure that people can safely vote and administer elections without the fear of gun violence or intimidation. We are hopeful and confident that other states will follow New Mexico’s lead this year.” 
Senate Bill 96, Increase Attempted Murder Penalty, strengthens penalties for 2nd degree murder-related offenses, which make up the vast majority of homicides cases in our state. New Mexico currently has the lowest penalties for 2 nddegree of neighboring states of Arizona, Colorado and Texas. The maximum sentence for 2nd degree murder has increased from 15 years to 18 years. The sentence for the crime of attempted 2nd degree murder has increased from three years to nine years. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Antonio Maestas and Rep. Cynthia Borrego. 

“A family takes generations to heal from the trauma of a loved one being murdered. Punishment should fit the crime and raising the prison sentence from 15 to 18 years is consistent with principles of justice,” said Sen. Antonio Maestas. “On behalf of past murder victims and their families and friends, I thank Governor Lujan Grisham for signing this bill into law today and for her commitment to keeping our communities safe.” 

Senate Bill 271, Repeat Felony Offender No Bond Hold, mandates judges hold certain violent defendants without bond if they are alleged to have committed another felony offense while out on bond for a previous violent offense. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto and Joseph Cervantez. 

For too long, career criminals have been able to count on committing crimes and, if caught, being released by the next day,” said Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto. “Now, those criminals will be held until each judge that ordered the person not to commit more crimes has a chance to review their conditions of release and decide if they still qualify to be on the streets while awaiting trial. It is simple, straightforward, and will be effective. I want to thank the Governor for working with me on this approach to keeping criminals behind bars, and recognize that the Supreme Court has told us they will issue court rules to support the provisions of SB 271.” 

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The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is located on the fourth floor of the New Mexico State Capitol in Room 400.

490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone: (505) 476-2200
Toll free: (833) 520-0020

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