This can’t wait! Special Legislative Session starts July 18. Click here to learn more.

Click here to view the latest news and updates on the Salt and South Fork Fires

Streets in New Mexico aren’t safe and addressing this can’t wait. This month, the Governor and Legislature have a chance to pass bills that will immediately get dangerous people off our streets. These bills would increase jail time for hardened criminals in possession of weapons and get desperately needed treatment to those struggling with substance abuse and mental illness.

Proposed Legislation

Competency Bill

This bill requires judges to order district attorneys to consider filing for involuntary commitment of criminal defendants if their competency is in question and gives the judge the ability to detain the defendant for up to seven days to initiate the petition.

The judge would be required to hold the defendant for up to seven days and the DA is required to file a petition for involuntary civil commitment under at least one of the following three circumstances:

  1. Serious violent offense
  2. A felony involving the use of a firearm
  3. Defendant has been found incompetent two or more times in the previous 12 months

Intent of Legislation:

To help prevent mentally incapacitated individuals from harming members of the public or themselves. It is incumbent on us as a society to provide the mental health interventions they need.

Involuntary Commitment

This bill would broaden the definitions of danger to self and danger to others in the involuntary commitment statue. 

Intent of Legislation:

Making it clear to practitioners and the court that some people are too mentally ill to take care of themselves.

Felon in Possession

This bill would upgrade the regular felon in possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime law from a third degree to a second-degree felony. It would also establish a new mandatory minimum term of nine years imprisonment for this offense. (Current law provides for “up to” a three-year for regular offenders).

The bill would also change the serious violent felon in possession sentence from third to second degree felony with mandatory 12-year prison sentence. (Current law provides for an up to nine-year term).

The bill would also eliminate the possibility of a reduced sentence based on good behavior in either case.

Intent of Legislation:

Crime prevention. Felons in possession of firearms are a primary driver of crime in New Mexico. This new provision in law would keep dangerous felons in jail longer, thus protecting New Mexicans longer.

Median/Pedestrian Safety

This bill would make it illegal to loiter on a median 36 inches or narrower in areas where the speed limit is 30 mph or more.

Intent of Legislation:

We are not criminalizing homelessness. This is strictly designed to protect pedestrians and motorists and to address New Mexico’s status as the number one state for pedestrian fatalities. This also is NOT about banning panhandling. People are still free to ask for money on sidewalks and other public areas.

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

This bill would require every law enforcement agency in New Mexico to submit monthly reports to DPS on crime incidents and ballistics information.

Intent of Legislation:

To improve the tracking and analysis of crime data. It will allow the state to better allocate resources to problems areas where they are needed most.