WHY DO WE NEED A NEW MEXICO RELINQUISHMENT LAW?
- The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely the woman will die.
- Between 2001 and 2012, more than 6,000 women were murdered in the United States by an intimate partner using a gun.
- States that collect guns from people under restraining orders have a 22 percent lower rate of intimate-partner homicide by gun than those that don1t
American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 187, Issue 7, 1 July 2018
- Currently, New Mexico law enforcement agencies have no way to take away guns from domestic violence perpetrators.
WHAT WILL A RELINQUISHMENT LAW DO?
- Enable our state court judges to protect victims of domestic violence who are not being protected by the federal law
- Bring New Mexico into line with 27 other states that have similar laws
- Require relinquishment of all firearms owned by domestic violence offenders while they are under an order of protection
- Make possession of a firearm by a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor DV offense a separate misdemeanor offense.
- Make possession of a firearm by a restrained person a sperate misdemeanor offense
- Create simple procedures for relinquishment, storage and return of firearms
HOW ARE GUN OWNER RIGHTS PROTECTED?
- Relinquishment is only permitted after a judge has weighed the evidence of domestic violence at an evidentiary hearing. Due process rights to notice and a hearing are full protected.
- Law enforcement officers and others required to carry a firearm for employment purposes are exempt under the order of protection provision of this bill. This ensures that New Mexico’s law doesn’t conflict with the exemption provision in federal law.
- A person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is fully protected. Evidence regarding relinquishment may not be introduced in any criminal case
HOW ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES PROTECTED?
- Law enforcement agencies are immune from civil and criminal liability for any damage to the firearms they store or transport unless they are grossly negligent
- Law enforcement has the right to destroy firearms that are unclaimed or cannot legally be returned
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