In the fight against gun violence in New Mexico, at least one significant piece of legislation filed this year aimed specifically at keeping guns out of the wrong hands.
With a new Democratic majority in both houses of the State Legislature and the largest progressive caucus in state history, supporters of common-sense gun violence prevention see this as the year to pass background check legislation.
While NRA-backed legislators managed to delay and kill similar legislation in previous years, background check bills have passed in states around the country.
This year, State Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard along with State Senate Maj. LeaderPeter Wirth and Sen. Richard Martinez sponsored legislation to keep New Mexicans safer by requiring background checks for gun sales.
New Mexico law currently allows unrestricted gun sales to anyone, in person or online, no questions asked. This means that criminals and people who have no business owning firearms can easily get their hands on them.
The bills, introduced in both the Senate (SB48) and House (HB50) concurrently level the playing field by closing the loophole so that all sellers, not just licensed dealers, conduct criminal background checks.
Need a primer on the facts? Check out these great reasons to support background check legislation:
In states where similar legislation has been enacted reports of gun violence have dropped significantly:
- 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty,
- 47 percent fewer women shot to death by intimate partners,
- 47 percent fewer firearm suicides, and
- 48 percent less gun trafficking in cities.
As reports of gun violence have sadly become regular on the nightly news, this piece of legislation is a necessary tool to increase public safety for all New Mexicans.
KOB TV recently previewed the bill and included some New Mexico moms working to make it happen.
Join with gun violence victims to prevent the next incidence of needless gun violence by showing your support for SB48 in person, or online.
First Senate Committee Hearing:
SENATE PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HEARING
Tuesday, January 31, 2016
12:30pm: organizing meeting
1:30pm: committee hearing begins
Location: Roundhouse, Senate Public Affairs Committee