Either way, the House voted to pass a bill that would ban breed-specific legislation at the municipal or county levels.
The vote was 48-14, despite some Democrats saying it would not hold up in court and saying it would take power away from local governments.
“I don’t believe it belongs at the state-level,” Rep. Eliseo Alcon, D-Milan, a former Cibola County judge, said. “This battle that you’re bringing to the legislature has to be done at the municipal and the county level, but not at the state level.”
Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, said that there are some differences between different breeds of dogs.
“Some dog bites aren’t going to do a lot of damage, some dog bites are going to kill a child or an old person,” Maestas said.
Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, introduced the legislation and said that as of now, only two municipalities have breed-specific legislation. Those are Tijeras and Elephant Butte.
Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Texico, was one of the legislators who rose to support the legislation and argued such laws were like banning red cards because they were involved in more accidents.
“The dog’s behavior may only be the result of an owner who trained a dog to behave in a certain way,” Roch said.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.