Skip Navigation
Press Release

New Mexico Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Voting from Guns

The measure would ban open carry in and around polling places and at drop boxes. The legislation awaits the governor’s signature.

February 14, 2024
Contact: Kendall Karson, Media Contact, kendall.karson@nyu.edu, 646-925-8746

Today, the New Mexico Senate unanimously concurred with a House amendment on S.B. 5, a bill to protect voters, election workers, and election officials from gun violence. The legislation, which had bipartisan support, would ban open carry in and around polling places and at ballot drop boxes. It awaits Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature. If the bill is enacted, New Mexico would join 16 other states and D.C. that prohibit open carry at polling sites, as well as 6 other states and D.C. that ban open carry at drop boxes.

Robyn Sanders, counsel in the Voting Rights Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and coauthor of the report Guns and Voting, had the following comment:

"Today we commend New Mexico for advancing commonsense legislation to keep voting safe and gun-free. We thank Senator Peter Wirth for his leadership on this important issue. Voters in New Mexico deserve to exercise their voting rights without facing threats, intimidation, or violence. And election workers and election officials deserve a safe place to do their jobs. We urge Governor Grisham to sign S.B. 5 in preparation for this year’s elections.”

New Mexico State Senator Peter Wirth had the following comment:

“Guns and voting are a dangerous combination. The Supreme Court has recognized the wisdom of keeping guns out of sensitive locations, like the polls, as have states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Louisiana. I’m proud that New Mexico is the first state this election year to take action to make our valued voters and poll workers safe from gun violence or intimidation.”

New Mexico is among a growing number of states this year whose legislatures are considering bans on guns at voting sites. They include MassachusettsMichigan, and Virginia.

Related resources: