Legislation to help keep guns out of dangerous hands hit a snag in the House Judiciary Committee today where it was tabled on a 7-6 vote. The motion to table ends debate and keeps the bill in committee, essentially ensuring that the bill will not make it to the House floor for a vote. House Bill 50, the original legislation, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 10th and on to the house floor but was sent back by the bill’s sponsor, Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos), to have amendments made. The amendments targeted complications with the bill’s language on ‘gun transfers’ between family members and close friends. The substitute legislation, HB548, scraps the ‘gun transfers’ language and focuses the intention on requiring background checks for gun sales between strangers.
Congress is set to be off for quite a bit of the month of April. According to the Washington Post, the House is only scheduled to be in session for EIGHT days this month. With all that time off, it’s likely we’ll see some of New Mexico’s congressional delegation back home and talking with constituents. Find events near you: ProgressNowNM’s Statewide Progressive Events Calendar
While we’re generally pretty happy with the job our congressional delegation is doing in Washington, it’s always good to be aware of what key issues our congress people and senators are working on. And in southern New Mexico especially, holding Rep. Steve Pearce accountable for the LACK of representation he gives us is absolutely key.
Over the duration of the 2017 regular session, we fought to create laws that would result in keeping guns out of dangerous hands. In the end, major legislation that would have changed the way that people purchase firearms by requiring background checks for all gun sales, had its language changed and eventually met its fate in the House Judiciary Committee. However, not all gun violence prevention legislation reached the same result.
A few weeks ago, ProgressNow got word that the NRA was flooding New Mexico legislators’ inboxes with out of state emails – so we decided to fire back. And today, with help from the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action, we handed in thousands of petitions signed by New Mexicans who support background checks for gun sales legislation. As the legislature winds to an end this upcoming Friday, work-days and work-weeks are getting longer, with hearings lasting into the night and on weekends. The House Judiciary Committee, the current place for gun violence prevention legislation, was set to meet today until a last minute change pushed the meeting to this upcoming Monday, 3/13, at 1:30. So…You guessed it!
Gov. Martinez, clearly taking her cues from the Trump playbook, continues to live in her own little alternative-fact-laden universe.
Santa Fe – Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the Tucson-area Congresswoman injured in a 2011 shooting at her “Congress on Your Corner Event,” stopped by the New Mexico State Capitol today to speak with lawmakers about bills strengthening gun violence prevention policies.
Gabby Giffords Steps in to New Mexico Firearms Debate
Former Rep. Giffords visits the Capitol amid Gun Debate
Video: Gabby Giffords discussing Gun Violence with NM Lawmakers
Giffords’ efforts focused on current legislation to require background checks for gun sales, as well as a Senate bill which would require that people surrender their firearms if they’re the subject of a protective order issued by a court as part of a case of domestic abuse. https://twitter.com/NMreport/status/834568473665638400
Read more on today’s visit from the New Mexico Political Report
Gifford and her husband founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a the gun safety advocacy group after she survived a 2011 assassination attempt that killed six and injured a dozen others. ARS along with Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and Progress Now NM have launched grassroots efforts to get these pieces of legislation signed into law. Show your support for common sense legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill by requiring background checks for gun purchases.
Report: More Than Half of People Who Shot and Killed New Mexico Law Enforcement Officers Were Likely Prohibited From Possessing Guns (but no one checked)
New Mexico appears to be on the brink of becoming the next state in the country to pass responsible background check requirements for gun sales. Now, a new report by one group supporting the effort shows that as many as half of the persons who killed a New Mexico law enforcement officer since 1987 shouldn’t have been able to own a gun in the first place – but there were no laws on the books requiring anyone to check. From Everytown.org:
New Mexico Background Check Bills, Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50, Slated for Consideration During 2017 Legislative Session, Seek to Protect Law Enforcement by Preventing Convicted Felons and Other Dangerous People from Getting Guns; Research Shows Background Checks Save Officers’ Lives
New Everytown Polling Reveals 87 Percent of New Mexicans Support Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales, Including 84 Percent of Gun Owners
NEW YORK – A new analysis released today by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund reveals that more than half of the people who shot and killed a New Mexico law enforcement officer in the line of duty over the past 30 years – from January 1987 to December 2016 – were likely barred by state or federal law from buying or possessing firearms at the time of the incident. This legislative session, New Mexico lawmakers will be voting on Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50 – legislation that will close the background check loophole in New Mexico and require criminal background checks for all gun sales to make the state safer for law enforcement officers and all New Mexicans. “Every day, law enforcement works their hardest to protect our fellow New Mexicans, but our current laws leave those on the front lines – and in our communities – in vulnerable positions.
This is shaping up to be the year New Mexico passes comprehensive background check legislation (it’s about time!)
After years of organizing and building new organizations, our work is paying off and getting noticed by legislators and the press. So far, progressives have showed up in greater numbers than NRA-opponents at each hearing — that momentum is keeping these bills moving.
Two big developments you need to know:
On Tuesday the Senate Public Affairs Committee passed SB48 requiring background checks for gun transfers. Red Mom’s Demand Action t-shirts and blue Progress Now NM stickers showing support for the bill flooded the committee room leaving little room for the opposition. The bill past the committee on a 5 to 3 vote.
After new legislation requiring background checks on gun transfers passed the Senate Public Affairs committee earlier this week, the house companion bill, HB 50, today also cleared its initial hurdle before the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. A combined effort between Moms Demand Action, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and Progress Now NM brought out over 100 supporters of the legislation, many who shared personal stories as they testified in favor of the legislation. After over three hours of testimony and debate the bill passed the committee on a vote of 3 to 1 (votes below). It will now move on to the House Judiciary Committee. Join our Gun Violence Prevention Action List to receive updates as the bill moves forward.
Background check legislation cleared a first (and important) hurdle today. After almost two hours of testimony and debate, the State Senate Public Affairs Committee passed the bill 5-3 and sent it forward with momentum to the Judiciary Committee. More than thirty ProgressNowNM advocates appeared alongside dozens of other New Mexico gun violence victims, survivors and activists including many organized by Moms Demand Action NM and New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. Gun violence prevention legislation failed in the Senate in previous years, in part over concerns over how transfers between family members could be protected. Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Española) worked with State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos) to write this year’s bill to require checks between transfers for gun sales, while accommodating some of those earlier concerns.
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. Leader Peter 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.