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House approves ‘red flag’ firearms bill

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Emmanuel Asprodites, 17, lower left, and Elijah Chavez, 18, lower right, and around 50 teens held a \”die-in\” in the the State Capitol in Santa Fe on Wednesday. The demonstration was in memory of the victims of the Parkland High School shooting in Florida last year on Feb. 14. (Eddie Moore/Journal)

SANTA FE — Amid tears and intensely personal stories, the state House passed legislation late Wednesday that would allow courts to order the temporary taking of guns from someone deemed an immediate threat.

House Bill 83, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Daymon Ely of Corrales and Joy Garratt of Albuquerque, would establish an Extreme Risk Protection Order Act — sometimes called a “red flag” law.

The proposal passed 39-30 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

It was almost entirely silent at one point in the three-hour debate as Democratic Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena of Mesilla spoke about the violence and threats she endured in an abusive relationship.

At one point, she said, her partner showed up with a gun.

“I know this bill will certainly save lives,” Lara Cadena said.

The proposal would allow a family member or police officer to seek a temporary court order to take a person’s firearms if they’re deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Republicans said the bill wouldn’t provide adequate legal safeguards before a gun owner’s Second Amendment rights are abridged.

Rep. Rachel Black, R-Alamogordo, said a gun is just one tool and that removing it from a home wouldn’t necessarily prevent violence. She said her father shot her mother, and she believes he would have burned the house down or taken other action if he hadn’t had the gun.

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