Progressives organize huge turnout as House Committee passes background check bill for NM

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.

SIGN UP: State Leg to take up background checks for gun sales (and this year it could pass)

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.

Las Cruces City Council passes background checks resolution. Which city will be next?

With dozens of local voters on hand to watch, the Las Cruces City Council voted yes Tuesday afternoon on a resolution that urges state lawmakers to pass comprehensive background checks on all firearm purchases within the state during the 2017 legislative session! Everytown for Gun Safety and ProgressNow NM teamed up to alert and turnout Las Cruces residents for the Council Meeting. Meanwhile, the NRA made defeating the Las Cruces resolution their national call-to-action on Independence Day:

After featuring it on the front page of their action page, NRA members from around the country inundated City Councilors with (mostly) out-of-state emails and calls in a well-worn tactic to tie up means for local constituents to show their support for similar legislation. From KRWG News:
Las Cruces City Council passed a resolution urging the State Legislature to pass legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for all gun sales in New Mexico by a vote of 5 to 1 with one abstaining. Many people packed the Council Chambers for the debate on gun legislation.

A new New Mexico movement to pass smart gun laws starts now

Earlier this week, I asked our staff “Can ProgressNow help to  build a new coalition of progressive voters who actually asked candidates about their plans to keep guns out of the hands of children and bad people, and will those voters share that info with their friends and family before election day?” They thought so and they built a campaign to test that idea with a few key supporters. Our test got a good response, but then something unexpected happened in DC that made it even bigger: Congress did something! Just as we launched our new campaign, Senator Heinrich joined a bi-partisan group of Senators to announce a new Senate bill to prevent terrorists from buying firearms.
Then Cong. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the #SitIn to demand a vote on a similar bill in the House (Sen. Udall even joined them!)

 
 

 
WATCH/UPDATE: Sen. Heinrich cited for working
over weekend to craft new anti-terrorist gun access bill
ProgressNowNM | June 23, 2016

 
READ MORE: NM Dems take part in
‘#NoFlyNoBuy’ sit-in
NM Political Report | June 23, 2016 

New Mexicans love seeing our elected leaders take a stand and that’s just what our new campaign is encouraging our state legislators to do.