ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mayor David Coss was among the handful of elected officials and law enforcement officers at a gun control press conference – arranged in conjunction with the Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization – I attended this morning at Police Department headquarters.
“I intend to support my president and Congress and our legislature and the activities the city is also taking to bring that change in the way we relate to guns and reduce the level of violence in our communities,” Coss declared.
However, Coss was noncommittal when asked if he supports an ordinance, introduced last week by Councilor Patti Bushee, also at the press conference, that would prohibit the sale, transfer and possession of high-capacity gun magazines – defined as holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition – within Santa Fe city limits.
“We’re looking at that,” Coss said. He added that the ordinance might present a legal challenge, but passing it would be an important message to send.
Santa Fe City Attorney Geno Zamora has already advised councilors that the New Mexico Constitution prohibits cities from regulating guns and ammunition.
But Bushee said she’s consulted with outside attorneys and believes her proposal passes legal muster.
In related news, Police Chief Ray Rael told me that, between gift cards and IOUs, the Police Department used up $22,900 of the $25,000 allocated to the city’s gun buyback program at the department’s first gun buyback on Saturday.
With two more buybacks scheduled, Rael said he’s in preliminary discussions for more city funding, hopefully at least another $22,000.