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AZTEC — Aztec residents rallied today demanding the City Commission pass a Second Amendment Sanctuary City resolution.

"Aztec, all of Aztec, wants to be a Second Amendment city," said Mark Beach, the organizer.

The rally came nearly two weeks after a resolution failed on a 3-2 vote partially due to the city attorney’s concerns that it could leave Aztec vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Many Aztec residents are concerned the city’s refusal to pass a sanctuary resolution could leave them vulnerable to having their guns taken away.

Those laws include expanding background checks and removing guns from people convicted of certain misdemeanor domestic violence offenses or subject to protective orders.

"I'm not very political normally, but this is getting totally out of hand," said Aztec resident Greg Graves.

Graves said he is concerned with the new law requiring background checks on almost all gun sales. 

"These gun laws that they're passing do not do anything to keep guns away from criminals," he said.

Instead, he said the laws make it harder for law-abiding gun owners.

"It's the politicians making a feel-good law," Graves said.

Beach said he hopes the rally gets the city's attention and lets "them know we're damn serious and we're not going away."

Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, said that sentiment is not unique to Aztec.

“They honestly feel like their guns are going to be taken away and nothing could be further from the truth,” Viscoli said when reached by phone Friday.

She attributed the fear to a misunderstanding of the gun laws that have been passed. She encouraged Second Amendment sanctuary advocates to read the two bills related to gun control that were passed and signed into law this year.

Aztec Mayor Victor Snover did not respond to request for comment.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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