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The day New Mexico’s gun waiting period law began, it sparked a lawsuit

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s governor and attorney general are facing a federal lawsuit over a new state law that requires a seven-day waiting period for gun purchases. That waiting period law went into effect on May 15.

The lawsuit, filed the day the law went into effect, on behalf of two New Mexico residents, claims the waiting period law puts an “unconstitutional burden” on those looking to legally purchase firearms.

The legal complaint describes two instances where New Mexicans tried to legally buy a firearm – one purchase from Calibers and one from a Big R Store – but were told they had to wait seven days before taking possession of the gun.

That’s exactly what is supposed to happen under the recently enacted law. However, the lawsuit claims that the waiting period violates the Second Amendment.

“The right to ‘keep’ arms necessarily implies the right to obtain arms. After all, ‘keep’ means to possess or ‘have weapons’,” the lawsuit argues. “By the Waiting Period Act’s very terms, it prevents individuals from taking ‘possession’ of their firearms.”

The waiting period “arbitrarily delay[s] the right of law-abiding citizens to obtain arms even if they immediately pass all required background checks, and even if they desire to obtain an arm for the purpose of self-defense in the home,” the lawsuit argues.

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and the Mountain States Legal Foundation are behind the lawsuit. In response to the lawsuit, the governor’s office told KRQE:

“The seven-day waiting period is undoubtedly constitutional and does not violate the Second Amendment. This lawsuit is little more than an effort by the gun lobby to protect profits, not people, despite their assertions to the contrary.”

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