The “assault weapons” bill, New Mexico House Bill 402, will be heard by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee at 1:30 PM Thursday, per the house committee schedule. Tonight I finished penning my note to my representative, who sits on that committee. It reads (in principle) as follows:
I don’t write letters like this every day. Today, though, I write to you with urgency regarding a bill that will come in front of you Thursday as a member of the Consumer & Public Affairs Committee, and may ultimately come before you on the house floor, namely House Bill 402 as submitted by Representative Easley.
That bill, focused on criminalization of future purchase, and on possession and safety issues related to “assault weapons”, flies in the face of our inalienable rights as specified in Amendment II, United States Constitution (and reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller), and in our own State Constitution, Article II, Section 6, which states
“No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.”
Those words were written in 1910, and ratified in time for statehood two years later. The concept of “security and defense” entrenched in that section of Article II was tested six years later when the town of Columbus was attacked by Pancho Villa’s Division of the North. The town, while a home to the 13th Cavalry, was strongly defended by its armed citizenry, who used their own guns to defend their lives and their property.
While the risk of cross-border incursion or foreign invasion is lower today, the continued need to protect one’s home, life, and the lives of one’s family are paramount. You have long been a proponent of maintaining an armed vigilance as one element of a balanced response to violence: you’ve worked for possession rights for officers of the court (as you’ve sponsored in various forms since 2003) together with domestic violence bills (such as HB 249, 2006) as well as numerous expenditures to enhance the Albuquerque Police Department.
For the maintenance of security and defense as laid out in Article II, Section 6 of the New Mexico Constitution, in line with the rights laid out in the second amendment, I urge your strong opposition to Rep. Easley’s bill, and for the encouragement of fellow Republicans and liberty-minded Democrats in defeating this bill.
With warmest regards,
Kevin in ABQ
NOW is the time to act.
NOW is the time to make your voice heard.