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

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Red shirts and blue stickers packed the House gallery

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.

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House Bill 50 was introduced by Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos who was on hand to defend her legislation along with Pedro Morillas who was representing Everytown for Gun Safety.

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Rep. Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Cuba) opened the committee explaining the necessity of this bill, specifically citing New Mexico’s current standing as the most violent state in the nation for domestic violence. She went on to describe her own experience purchasing a gun online, meeting the seller in a parking lot and in under a few minutes leaving with a hand gun, no questions asked.

After more than 3 hours of testimony, including nearly 100 victims, survivors, activits and witnesses for and against the legislation, including Raul Torres, the newly elected District Attorney for Bernalillo County, and multiple state representatives, the committee deliberated briefly before voting to pass the legislation.

The final vote was:

Title Name Party Role
Representative Eliseo Alcon D Chair – For
Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero D Vice Chair  – For
Representative Debra Armstrong D Member – For
Representative Bob Wooley R Member – Against
Representative Monica Youngblood R Member – Absent

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