GOP lawmakers seek referendum on gun background checks

March 8, 2019 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Leading Republican legislators say they will try and overturn a proposed law requiring background checks on nearly all gun sales in New Mexico through a voter referendum.

In a letter to state election regulators, House minority leader James Townsend and minority whip Rod Montoya said Thursday that a formal public challenge is being organized through obscure state procedures that can call a referendum by signature petition.

The background-check bill has been approved by the state House and Senate and is likely to be signed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.


Townsend and Montoya say the bill infringes on the 2nd Amendment. They are joining with like-minded county sheriffs to collect signatures.

The petition process has lengthy requirements that include the collection of about 70,000 signatures from 25 counties.