Last week lawmakers in Santa Fe adopted a new set of security rules for the upcoming legislative session, including a ban on some firearms during the first day.
The Albuquerque Journal reports the New Mexico Legislature has adopted a new set of security rules this year, possibly in an attempt to prevent protests during Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham’s State of the State address. Included in the new rules is a ban on entering the Roundhouse with a rifle on opening day of the 60-day legislative session. The ban does not extend to owners of a license to carry concealed weapons, however, and the ban only lasts for that day.
In past years, gun rights advocates have often been seen carrying weapons openly in the Roundhouse during legislative sessions as political statements, but tensions are higher this year as Democrat lawmakers reportedly plan gun control legislation and second amendment activists rally against it. Last week, the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action warned NRA members that “anti-gun politicians” would be introducing gun control laws and warned that more stringent legislation would follow.
The new security rules will also ban large signs and enforce bag checks on the first day of the session, which begins Jan. 15 of next year.
Driver Authorization Applications Simplified
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division recently announced a change in the rules that will make it easier for residents to receive a driver authorization card.
According to a press release from the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, the new rules will simplify requirements and increase accessibility to those who do not want or need a federally compliant driver identification card. Under the new rules, applicants will no longer need to provide an identification number or social security card, only one document proving name and age will be required instead of two. The list of acceptable documents to prove residency and identity will be expanded and will only require a single document for proof of residency from anyone experiencing homelessness.
New Mexico provides two types of drivers licenses to residents. One is compliant with the federal Real ID Act, and the other—the driver authorization card—is less stringent, but cannot be used for federal purposes. Advocates say this card is helpful for the elderly, homeless and immigrants who need to obtain driver credentials but are unable to provide some of the documents required.
City Sues Bus Manufacturer
The City of Albuquerque is pursuing legal action against the BYD auto company for failing to meet contractual obligations and provide safe buses for the rapid transit project.
According to KOAT, Mayor Tim Keller told reporters last week that city officials attempted to contact BYD and settle their dispute out of court, but received no response from the China-based auto manufacturing company. They are now moving forward with a lawsuit against the company, claiming breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and misrepresentation and violations of the New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices Act.
BYD told the Albuquerque Journal that it is “considering all legal options in response to the City’s actions.”