Gun reform was a high priority when New Mexico’s legislative session opened last month. Governor Michelle Luján Grisham had called for several firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons, after several Democratic elected officials were targeted in a string of gun attacks. But as the session comes to a close, HuffPost reports, lawmakers are wary of passing legislation that could be overturned in court because of the standard set by the Supreme Court — some reforms are likely, but an assault weapons ban is essentially off the table. “What I hope we don’t do is lead the public into believing we’re doing something, knowing full well that what we’re doing is unlikely to really have an effect,” said Joseph Cervantes, chair of the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee, at a hearing last month.
It’s illustrative of Bruen’s cooling effect; the decision is not only overturning gun restrictions, but also preventing them from passing in the first place. “That Bruen ruling is going to hurt us for decades to come,” Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, told HuffPost. “It’s going to be the excuse of every conservative Democrat who doesn’t want to pass common-sense gun laws.”
What to Know Today
Visa and Mastercard paused the implementation of new merchant codes to track gun sales after Republicans in several states filed bills that would prohibit or limit banks and payment processors from using the codes. [Bloomberg]
Washington might be the next state to ban assault weapons — Governor Jay Inslee prioritized a ban, and the state House approved the corresponding bill last week. [The Spokesman-Review]
Two NYPD chiefs intervened in the case of a retired police officer who was arrested for allegedly threatening three young people with a gun, voiding the former officer’s charges and releasing him less than 90 minutes after he was taken into custody, video footage showed. [THE CITY]
The Police Department at Philadelphia’s Temple University received a $1.7 million state grant to upgrade campus security. The university says the money will go toward officer training and tech enhancements, including gunshot-detection devices and CC-TV cameras. [WHYY] Context: The shooting of a Temple police officer in February reignited the debate over how to keep students and employees safe.
The 11th Circuit upheld a 2018 Florida law, passed in response to the Parkland school shooting, banning most people under 21 from buying firearms. The panel cited Reconstruction-era gun restrictions to establish precedent according to Bruen’s “history and tradition” test. [11th Circuit Court of Appeals]
President Joe Biden’s crackdown on ghost guns is crumbling in court. After a U.S. district judge in Dallas ruled that Defense Distributed could resume selling federally banned ghost gun parts, proponents of the regulations are prepping for disaster. [VICE]
The Texas Senate passed bipartisan gun safety legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s background check laws with an explicit requirement that courts report involuntary mental health hospitalization records for people aged 16 to 18. [The Texas Tribune]
“What Makes a Gun a Ghost Gun?”: Law enforcement agencies are facing a growing problem: homemade, nearly impossible-to-trace firearms, known as “ghost guns.” As misconceptions and confusion about the devices stack up, The Trace’s Alain Stephens breaks down the basics. (December 5, 2019)
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