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New Mexico Governor Pushing Ban on AR-15s, Other Semiautomatics

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is pushing a ban on AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles in an upcoming 30-day legislative session in her state.

The Santa Fe Reporter noted Grisham wants to do what Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) unsuccessfully attempted at the federal level. Heinrich, together with Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), put forward the Gas-Operated Semiautomatic Firearms Exclusion Act (GOSAFE), and it went nowhere.

Breitbart News reported the focus on the AR-15’s gas operation came some 64 years after the gun was designed to use spent gas from a shell casing to reset the bolt group and ready the gun for the next round. The rifle is still just a semiautomatic, firing one round per trigger pull just like a Glock or Smith & Wesson handgun, but the gas from a spent shell casing replaces recoil in working the action.

Grisham believes New Mexico lawmakers will be more open to banning an entire category of firearms — by highlighting gas operation, etc. — than Heinrich and Kelly’s federal colleagues were.

The Sante Fe Reporter quoted her saying, “Let’s try that vehicle in our own assault weapons ban in New Mexico. Because one thing I have that the senator doesn’t have is I’ve got a set of lawmakers that are more likely than not to have a fair debate about guns, gun violence, weapons of war, and keeping New Mexicans safe.”

Grisham made news on September 8, 2923, for issuing an executive order to ban concealed or open carry in larger cities like Albuquerque. Her ban also prohibited licensed concealed carriers from having their guns for self-defense.

On September 13, 2023, Breitbart News reported that U.S. District Judge David Herrera Urias granted a temporary injunction against Grisham’s ban. So Grisham amended her ban on concealed and open carry, saying it applied only to carrying a gun in parks and playgrounds, and on September 15, 2023, Urias allowed it to stand.

 

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