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New Mexico Update -- Santa Fe Next City To Consider "Opt-Out"

Friday, November 9, 2001

"RIGHT TO CARRY" LAW ARGUED BEFORE SUPREME COURT

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments on outgoing, anti-gun Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca`s petition to halt DPS` processing of "Right To Carry" applications, based on his misguided claim that the state law is unconstitutional. DPS was represented by New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid’s office, which argued that the state constitution does not prohibit the Legislature from enacting a law allowing private citizens to carry concealed handguns. Sen. Shannon Robinson (D-Albuquerque), representing several residents of Albuquerque as intervenors in the case, argued that Baca lacked standing to bring such an action before the Supreme Court, and was wrongfully seeking to achieve through the court system that which he could not achieve through the Albuquerque City Council. As you recall, the council twice rejected Baca’s proposed ordinance to ban "Right To Carry" within city limits.

The court took no formal action on the matter this week and DPS plans to continue processing carry license applications. We`ll keep you posted!

LAS CRUCES NARROWLY REJECTS "OPT-OUT" REFERENDUM

On Tuesday, voters in Las Cruces narrowly rejected Question 2, a non-binding referendum on whether the city should "opt-out" of the state`s "Right To Carry" law. Thank you to everyone who went to the polls and voted "NO" on Question 2, which failed by a 50.7-49.3 margin. Your votes did, indeed, make the difference! NRA-ILA will be watching closely for any further action by the mayor or city council on this issue.

SANTA FE NEXT CITY TO CONSIDER "OPTING-OUT"

On Wednesday, November 14, an ordinance should formally be introduced before the Santa Fe City Council by District 2 Councilor Karen Heldmeyer, calling for the city to "opt-out" of the state’s "Right To Carry" law. The Council will meet at 4:00 p.m. in Council Chambers of City Hall. In addition to introducing the ordinance, it is expected that the council will decide at this meeting to publish notification of the proposed ordinance and schedule a public hearing for the matter at the council’s December 12 meeting.

While there will be no public hearing at the Wednesday, November 14 city council meeting on the "opt-out" ordinance, the evening portion of the meeting (usually at 7:00 p.m.) features "Petitions From The Floor" where citizens can bring up any issue or concern they have before the council.

If you reside in Santa Fe, please make plans to attend Wednesday`s meeting, even if you can only attend the evening portion, and show your opposition to the "opt-out" ordinance. Please also call the Mayor and City Councilors at 955-6590 and voice your opposition to any opt-out ordinance (especially if you reside in District #2 represented by the ordinance’s author, Karen Heldmeyer!) Their names and district numbers are provided below. You can also send an email directly to councilors from the city’s website www.ci.santa-fe.nm.us (which has been down frequently as of late.)

*** Suggestions for communications with councillors: Above all, keep your message polite and concise. In addition to presenting the facts, you may want to stress that supporters of "Right To Carry" greatly outnumbered opponents at public hearings held this summer on this issue. In fact, the city’s Public Safety Committee, which was charged with conducting these hearings, recommended that city NOT take action to "opt-out" of the state law. You might state that it would be premature for the city to "opt-out" before the Supreme Court rules on either the constitutionality of the law and the opt-out clause, because the city could then face legal action. You could always point out that there are other issues which voters in the city consider to be of higher priority -- water resources being one of them -- and that voters will be watching closely what councilors do prior to next March’s city council elections. ***

Mayor Larry Delgado

District 1
Patti Bushee
Jimmie Martinez

District 2
Cristopher Moore
Karen Heldmeyer

District 3
Miguel Chavez
Frank Montano

District 4
Carol Robertson Lopez
Matthew Ortiz

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.