New Mexico sheriff vows to go to jail over proposed gun law

Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton, left, waits with McKinley County Sheriff Ronald Silversmith, right, outside the New Mexico House chamber before a debate on a proposed red-flag gun bill in Santa Fe, N.M., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Democratic legislators in New Mexico are pushing forward with a red-flag gun proposal at a legislative committee meeting that offers a final opportunity for public comment. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

EUNICE, N.M. (AP) — A southeastern New Mexico sheriff is vowing to go to jail and risk his seat rather than enforce a proposed red-flag gun law.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton told an audience at a Eunice City Hall meeting on Monday he’s ready to go to jail, if necessary, for refusal to enforce the law.

Helton said he'd be a one-term sheriff because a judge would place him under arrest. But he said he'd be able to sleep at night for standing his ground.

The bill pushed forward Tuesday in a Democratic-controlled House committee would allow law enforcement to petition a court for the temporary surrender of guns by people who appear to pose a danger to themselves or others.

Helton believes the law would be unconstitutional, violating both the Second and 14th Amendments.

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