Ban on pit bull bans passes House

SANTA FE (KRQE) — Pit bulls may be the most debated type of dog out there.

While many have been involved in brutal attacks in New Mexico and around the country, pit bull defenders say it's not the animal it's the owner that's to blame for those incidents.

Denver and Miami have passed pit bull bans, but New Mexico's cities and counties haven't acted similarly. Tijeras has had a pit bull ban since the 1980's while Elephant Butte has restrictions on owners of pit bulls, German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, got a big boost in her attempt to stop all of that Monday.

Her bill to ban cities and counties from passing breed-specific laws passed the House easily 48-14 and heads to the Senate.

It didn't make it through the legislative process without a big loophole being added. Herrell's original bill would've banned all cities and counties from implementing breed-specific laws, but the version that passed Monday exempts home rule municipalities from the requirement.

That means 11 cities, including New Mexico's four largest, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe, would still be allowed to pass breed-specific ordinances and regulations.

The bill also didn't make it past the House without its share of criticism. Several Democrats said Herrell's proposal was tantamount to big state government interfering in local affairs.

As its currently written, Herrell's bill would allow Tijeras' and Elephant Butte's laws to remain in effect.

Massachusetts also has a ban on cities and counties instituting breed-specific laws.

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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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