I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Bill to allow guns in restaurants clears committee
On Wednesday, a House committee voted to advance Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Sen. George Munoz, D-Gallup, which would allow those with a concealed carry license to bring their guns into restaurants or bars that serve liquor. It’s a measure he tried to pass last session–but back then the bill applied only to bars.
The Senate Corporations and Transportation committee passed the bill by 8-1 Monday, but not before the lobbyist for the New Mexico Restaurant Association spoke out against the bill.
“Restaurants are concerned about the liability issue,” Allison Smith told the committee. “Mixing gun rights and alcohol sales are not a good idea.”
An expert witness for Muñoz told the committee that New Mexico is only one of seven states that allows concealed carry, but doesn’t allow it in liquor establishments.
Proponents of the bill argue that disarming law abiding citizens before they take their families to eat only raises the possibility of crime. Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque, said there are likely already weapons in restaurants but they’re not carried by law abiding citizens.
Sen. Muñoz told the Independent after the vote that he was encouraged by the 8-1 passage, saying “I think it’s the beginning in the process that shows the concerns of the people in the state.”
Munoz says the law would apply to 593 establishments in New Mexico. And while the restaurant association did raise the concerns of liability, many Senators were able to reason that those restaurants would still be able to post a sign prohibiting firearms.
The Independent took the pulse of some notable New Mexicans on this issue a few weeks ago where more than a few disagreed with the idea.