New Bill Aims to Expand Background Checks in New Mexico

A new bill was introduced this week that aims to extend background checks to almost all private firearm transactions in New Mexico, reports KOB 4.

Currently, a buyer only needs to undergo a background check if he/she is purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. If they were to purchase a gun online, at a gun show, flea market or from any other private seller, a background check would not be necessary.

However, if the bill, known as House Bill 50, passes, a licensed firearms dealer would be required to carry out all firearm transfers, which would include issuing a background check.

There are a few exceptions to the law, including transfers between family members, at a shooting range or while hunting.

HB50 was formally introduced by Democratic State Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard who hopes the bill will keep firearms out of criminal hands and reduce overall gun violence.

“What has been shown is in other states that have passed laws such as this, the amount of deaths from guns very much decreased,” she said. “In terms of death by guns in domestic violence situations, death by guns for police officers those decreased actually so we know these type of laws work.”

The NRA disagrees.

“This legislation would criminalize virtually every private firearms transfer in New Mexico while doing nothing to make the state a safer place. Everywhere these so-called universal background check laws have been imposed, they cost law-abiding citizens time, money, and freedom,” NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen said in a statement emailed to KOB 4.

If approved, Richard’s bill will go into effect on July 1.