Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE — A controversial Santa Fe ordinance that would have banned the possession, sale or transfer of any gun magazine with more than 10 rounds of ammunition went down in defeat late Wednesday night.
The vote against the ban was 6-2 after nearly three hours of pro and con public comment on the measure.
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, who can only vote in the case of a tie, sponsored the proposal, along with Councilors Patti Bushee and Ron Trujillo.
However, Trujillo withdrew his support Wednesday. Among other things, Trujillo said he doesn’t want to set the city up for a lawsuit and isn’t sure the ordinance is enforceable.
“The intent is good but I do not see it working out in this community and therefore I’m going to have to oppose this law even though I was a sponsor of it,” Trujillo said.
Also voting in opposition to the measure were Councilors Carmichael Dominguez, Peter Ives, Chris Rivera, Bill Dimas and Rebecca Wurzburger.
Bushee seemed to concede defeat in moving for a vote on the high-capacity clip ban but said she’s grateful that at least the ordinance helped generate some discussion.
“I never thought that this was a panacea, that this was the answer … all I know is after Aurora, Colorado, after Tucson, Arizona, I felt I could not do nothing. That was not an option for me,” she said.
Only Councilor Chris Calvert voted with Bushee to ban high-capacity clips.
An overflow crowd of nearly 200 people, representing both sides of the issue, turned out for the meeting. Nearly 80 people spoke, and the arguments often echoed the ongoing national debate.
Supporters of banning high-capacity magazines said a common thread in recent mass shootings was the use of guns that allowed a large number of bullets to be used in a short period of time. The small amount of time necessary for shooters to reload their weapons has the potential to save lives, some said. Others said it’s time for the government to start enacting greater gun control legislation.
Opponents, including representatives of the Republican Party of New Mexico and National Rifle Association, said the ordinance is a violation of their constitutional right to bear arms and people have the right to protect themselves and their loved ones. They said the ordinance won’t make Santa Fe safer, will infringe on responsible gun owners and will be difficult to enforce. The city will also waste money defending the ordinance in court, some said.
Ginger Clark Branstetter said she has a concealed weapon permit and a gun that holds 15 rounds because of the “real threats” that come with her job as a Realtor. Clark Branstetter said a burly man had to help her deal with a threatening person at a recent open house she hosted in Rancho Viejo.
“I have been scared at open houses. I’m here to serve people, to serve sellers and buyers and when someone walks in and you can see it in their eyes they’re out to get you … I will not be a victim,” she said.
For the other side, Miranda Viscoli of New Mexicans for Gun Safety shared a petition with more than 800 signatures supporting the proposal.
Viscoli echoed the point that the common thread in recent mass shootings was the use of guns that fired many bullets in a short period of time.
Viscoli noted that other cities, such as Los Angeles and Denver, have implemented similar ordinances.
“I’m asking the City Council why in God’s name would we want these high-capacity clips on the streets of our city?” she said.