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El Mimbreno

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Gender: Male
Hometown: New Mexico
Member since: Sun Nov 6, 2016, 09:21 AM
Number of posts: 686

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New Mexico counties declare themselves "2nd amendment sanctuaries"

While the New Mexico state legislature works to do what the federal government has failed to do - implement tighter gun control by expanding background check requirements – sheriffs within the state are asking their counties to declare themselves “2nd Amendment Sanctuaries” where only federal gun laws that they deem constitutional would be enforced.

Grant County, home to historic Silver City and portions of two wilderness areas, recently joined about 15 other New Mexico counties in passing such resolutions. At last Thursday’s county commission meeting, two resolutions, brought by Sheriff Frank Gomez (elected as a Democrat) were discussed and voted on.

No. R-19-23 was in support of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and declaring Grant County to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.

No. R-19-24 was a resolution opposing legislation that would impose rules, regulations and restrictions exceeding federal law on all private firearm transfers between individuals, and referred to a bill requiring background checks for gun show sales.

Sheriff Gomez also opposes HB 87, which is intended to give law enforcement court-ordered authority to remove firearms from the homes of individuals deemed a potential high risk of violence, and is directed toward people involved in domestic violence and situations involving mental instability. (added edit)

Grant County is overwhelmingly Blue, but because supporters of the resolution had “packed the house”, the crowd was not representative of the majority of residents.

Opening of the news story in the online Grant County Beat by editor Mary Alice Murphy:

“Proud Americans stood, hands on hearts, and proclaimed: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…" About 1,000 of them stood in the large conference room and in the halls of the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and Conference Center. The sound filled the room and grew, phrase by phrase in unison, with a crescendo to "with liberty and justice for all."”


Impressive prose, perhaps even worthy of a Bulwer-Lytton Award. However, other attendees, including this resident of the Mimbres Valley, saw things a little differently:

"I attended the Grant County NM Commission meeting on Feb. 21, 2019 and witnessed the Trump base froth generated by emails from the local Chamber of Commerce CEO, Scott Terry, and NM District 38 Representative, Rebecca Dow (and possibly also the NRA?). It was not only ugly, it was scary. Some in the camo-wearing, mining company orange-vest crowd made 'almost threats' (e.g., "You try to get my gun and I'll come get you!" against the two liberal Commissioners and the 4 liberal speakers."


Another attendee commented,

“I think it is worth noting that those supporting these anti-background-check Resolutions had organized to completely fill the hall to SRO over an hour before the scheduled meeting leaving another large crowd of would be speakers outside, many of whom would have spoken against them.

It also seems relevant that the comments of these folks over that 4 hours were less about the proposed background checks and more about "Don't take my guns," the right to sell their property to their grandchild, and "creeping regulations," ignoring the facts of the legislative bills with which they did not seem familiar.”

The resolutions were brought to a vote and passed 3-2. Democrats Javier Salas and Chris Ponce voted in favor, along with Republican Billy Billings. Democrats Edwards and Browne voted against.

Granted, they’re resolutions, not laws, but why did our “Democratic” sheriff and “Democratic” majority on the county commission suddenly defy the will of those who elected them?

How many counties in other states are enacting these resolutions?

What is behind these actions by county sheriffs here in New Mexico and in other states? It may well be connected to the philosophy of the Constitutional Sheriffs Association. According to politico.com:

“The strange idea that unites all members of this movement is that a sheriff is the highest law enforcement officer within a county’s borders—superior not only to local police, but also to officers and agents of the federal government.”]

Conspicuous members of this group include former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke and Joe Arpaio, convicted of violating a federal court order and pardoned by trump.

But the question remains: Why would law enforcement officers want fewer restrictions on the possession of guns that might end up pointed at THEM?
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