April 2, 2019

NM House Republican Leader Jim Townsend Resubmits Referendum Petition On Anti-2nd Amendment SB 8 To SOS 
Townsend calls on Toulouse Oliver to let people decide. 

SANTA FE—This afternoon, House Republican Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia) renewed his effort to appeal for a public test of Senate Bill 8, legislation passed earlier this year that mandates citizen background checks on firearm sales in New Mexico. Townsend resubmitted his proposed draft petition to Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver for her office’s review and approval to distribute to voters.  

Townsend delivered a preliminary draft petition to the Secretary of State’s Office on March 11, 2019. Toulouse Oliver rejected the draft on March 21, 2019, citing technical issues. Townsend addressed those issues in his response to Toulouse Oliver today. 

“Senate Bill 8 proposes to limit the constitutional rights of New Mexicans. I say let the people decide on this matter that directly impacts their civil liberties,” said Townsend. “I have confidence in the citizens of New Mexico to determine if this legislation is right for our state. I hope the Secretary of State also has the same faith in New Mexicans and will uphold their right to have a referendum on Senate Bill 8.” 

Twenty-five counties in New Mexico have adopted 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolutions this year. In February, twenty-nine out of thirty-three county sheriffs signed a letter opposing the anti-2nd Amendment proposals being considered by the Legislature. In an interview with Stateline, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, the chairman of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association, called the legislation, “unenforceable, overreaching, unconstitutional and a gun grab.” 

The Secretary of State’s Office has ten days to respond to Townsend’s petition.