Several sources, including a news report, have now confirmed that New Mexico Senator Sue Beffort’s proposal to restrict ownership of “pit bulls” will not be going anywhere this year.
Because 2012 is a short legislative session, Governor Martinez has to “call” any bill that is not related to budget. The governor’s office says that Gov. Martinez does not intend to call Beffort’s proposal, citing concerns about portions of the bill.
Beffort acknowledges how divisive her proposal was, but it’s unclear whether she’s actually changed her mind about how “dangerous” and “unpredictable” she thinks pit bull mixes are. Bill filing for the 2013 legislative session begins in December, and we will watch at that time to see if Beffort tries to file a simlar proposal during the longer session.
Beffort’s efforts to pass statewide BSL are not unique. In 2009, NM Representative John Heaton introduced a bill that defined “pit bulls” and Rottweilers as “dangerous dogs.” That bill did not pass, and Heaton lost re-election in 2010. When an elected official continuously proposes or supports BSL and is unwilling to change their stance, sometimes your vote is the best way to get that official out of a position of power.
Several New Mexico advocacy groups are now looking into the possibility of “banning BSL in New Mexico.” We believe that entails passage of a bill that amends state dog law to prohibit municipalities from passing breed-specific ordinances. Several other states already have such a prohibition. We support this effort and will try to share more information about it as the groups organize and get their bearings. Here’s one gathering place:
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