New Mexico Enacts Gun Restrictions at Polling Places

( – New Mexico’s Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this week signed several public safety bills into law, including one “voter intimidation” measure that would prohibit legal gun owners from carrying firearms at or near a polling place or ballot drop box location, the Associated Press reported.

Grisham signed a series of public safety measures on Monday during a press event in an Albuquerque high school auditorium. The four bills were all passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature during a recent 30-day legislative session.

The Democrat governor said in a press release that the legislation would address gun deaths and keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals.

One measure, HB 129, would extend the current waiting period to purchase a firearm from three days to seven days. Exempted from the extended waiting period are current concealed carry permit holders, transactions between law enforcement officers, and federal firearms licensees.

SB 5 is a measure designed to protect voters from intimidation by prohibiting individuals from carrying firearms within 100 feet of all polling places and ballot drop boxes. The law exempts law enforcement and licensed concealed carry holders. With Governor Grisham’s signature, the law will be in effect during the state’s June 4 primary.

Another bill signed into law, SB 96, increases the penalty for second-degree murder offenses from 15 years to 18 years. The measure also increases the penalty for attempted second-degree murder from three years to nine.

The final public safety bill, SB 271, would require judges to hold some violent offenders without bond if they had previously committed an offense while on bond for another violent offense.

The Democrat governor last year declared gun violence a public health emergency and suspended the right to carry firearms near parks or playgrounds in some areas of Albuquerque following a spate of shootings in which children were killed.

Currently, the New Mexico Supreme Court is considering a challenge to the governor’s action.

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