Bill aimed to keep guns from domestic abusers heads to governor


A bill that advocates say will keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers is headed to Gov. Susana Martinez.

Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces (Photo by Heath Haussamen)

Heath Haussamen /

State Rep. Joseph Cervantes

The state House of Representatives voted 43-22 on Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 259, sponsored by Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, which would require people under domestic violence restraining orders to relinquish their firearms.

Groups such as New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence argued that the bill is a common-sense measure that will protect victims of domestic violence.

But several Republicans on the House floor countered that the bill was flawed and would clog up state courts.

The bill would only apply once a judge has issued a final order following a hearing. Not only would the measure require people under domestic violence restraining orders to turn over their guns. It also would prohibit them from buying new firearms while the order is in effect.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws. The measure is also in line with federal law and recommendations from the state’s Intimate Partner Violence Death Review Team, which reviews homicides involving domestic violence.

The Senate passed the bill earlier this month by a vote of 25-15.


Though it passed the House on the same day that the Republican governor vetoed six relatively uncontroversial bills without explanation, advocates were still hopeful Martinez might sign the measure.

“Because she does care a lot about law enforcement and domestic violence victims, I am hopeful,” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, referring to a couple of the issues on which Martinez campaigned.

This article comes from The Santa Fe New Mexican. is paying for the rights to publish articles about the 2017 legislative session from the newspaper. Help us cover the cost by making a donation to Contact Andrew Oxford at (505) 986-3093 or Follow him on Twitter @andrewboxford.

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