Farmington unanimously passes Second Amendment preservation resolution
FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington unanimously passed a resolution declaring it a Second Amendment Preservation City in reaction to gun control legislation that is currently being debated in the state legislature.
The resolution passed Monday on a 3-0 vote with Councilor Janis Jakino absent, however Jakino had Mayor Nate Duckett read a statement of support for the resolution prior to the vote.
After reading the resolution, Duckett asked the audience to raise their hands in support or opposition to the resolution. The vast majority of the audience members supported the resolution. The crowd spilled out of the council chambers into the overflow area, where the city had set up extra chairs.
"I find it almost sad that we as a city have to stand up to defend our constitutional rights," said Councilor Sean Sharer prior to the vote.
The resolution mirrors a resolution passed last week by the San Juan County Commission declaring it a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. San Juan County is one of at least 18 counties in the state that have passed such a resolution.
"I know that this is an important issue for all of us and I respect all points of view, but we the people need to take a stand on this issue," said Councilor Linda Rodgers. "I believe in all of our constitutional rights that were afforded to us by our founding fathers."
Tonight's action means the Farmington Police Department will not enforce gun control laws that are deemed unconstitutional.
"Laws that are passed in state houses are constitutional until a court decides otherwise," Duckett told the audience.
There are two main bills that have garnered attention from people throughout the state. These bills include requiring background checks on every firearm sale and allowing family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to have firearms taken from someone who is deemed a threat to themselves or others. The latter is known as red flag laws.
Red flag laws are not unique to New Mexico. About a dozen states currently have red flag laws and Colorado is considering a similar bill to the one making its way through the New Mexico Legislature.
The Colorado bill also faces backlash from rural communities. The Cortez Journal reported about 60 people attended a Montezuma County Commission meeting this morning as the commission considered a resolution opposing red flag laws.
While the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association has come out in force opposing the red flag laws, several Colorado sheriffs and police officers back the measure, citing colleagues who have died in shootouts involving people with mental illness. At the same time, San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari warns red flag laws could make these shoot outs more common if police are dispatched to remove weapons from people with mental illness.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.