Your Calls and E-mails Made a Difference
Senate Bill 26, sponsored by state Senator Bill Payne (R-ABQ) and carried in the House during the last few critical days of session by state Representative Bill Rehm (R-ABQ), passed in the state House by an overwhelming 61 to 6 vote the night before the Legislature adjourned sine die today. This bill is now on its way to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature. Thank you to everyone who made calls and sent e-mails to your legislators for NRA-supported bills this session!
SB 26 repeals Section 30-7-9 of the New Mexico Criminal Code, which limits the purchase of rifles and shotguns by New Mexico residents to their home state and contiguous states. Repeal of this law eliminates this restrictive language and enables residents of New Mexico to purchase long guns in non-contiguous states, and residents of non-contiguous states to purchase long guns in New Mexico.
Special thanks go to Governor Martinez who “messaged” this bill so that it was germane and could be considered during New Mexico’s thirty-day budget session. We must also recognize the support of Department of Public Safety (DPS) Secretary Gordon Eden and Bill Hubbard with the DPS Special Investigations Division, who testified in favor of SB 26 and the other bills mentioned below at every committee hearing they received. Accompanied by letters of support from Attorney General Gary King, a high-level of bi-partisan backing and credibility was lent to SB 26 in some very tough committees.
Many rank-and-file legislators worked hard behind the scenes to help get these bills scheduled and supported in committees. Be sure to thank those state Senators and Representatives who voted for this measure! The final Senate vote can be found here, and the House vote here. Contact information for your state legislators can be found by clicking here.
Please be sure to send your thanks to Governor Martinez and both sponsors of Senate Bill 26!
Contact information for Governor Susana Martinez can be found by clicking here.
Contact information for Senator Bill Payne can be found here.
Contact information for Representative Bill Rehm can be found here.
As for the rest of NRA’s bills this session, some significant progress was made. Although House Bill 206 by state Representative Zach Cook (R-Ruidoso), legislation to allow concealed carry in state parks, never advanced beyond its second House Committee referral, the sponsor received positive input from the state Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources about an administrative rule change to correct this problem in the interim. The NRA will continue to pursue this to make sure that law-abiding concealed handgun license holders can protect themselves while visiting state parks.
State Representative Jimmie Hall's (R-ABQ) House Bill 67, a bill to place in-statute DPS's practice of conducting NICS background checks on all applicants for original and renewal concealed handgun licenses, did not make it past the House Judiciary Committee. However, with the help of Rep. Hall and the state DPS, a good amount of progress has been made to clarify what needs to be added to New Mexico's carry law to allow the department to eventually apply to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for an exemption for NM CHLs to the background check required when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. The NRA will certainly make this a priority in the 2013 session.
Also, please thank Rep. Cook and Rep. Hall for their efforts this session! Their persistence has given us guidance to work through the interim and into the next sixty-day legislative session next year.
Contact information for Representative Zach Cook can be found here.
Contact information for Representative Jimmie Hall can be found here.
Thirty-day budget-only sessions are incredibly tough to pass non-budget related issues. Those items need a message from the Governor (which all three bills mentioned above received) and after that the bills usually get multiple committee referrals. In the case of SB 26, it moved through four committees and two floor votes in about two weeks. Without your grassroots support, and the work of our incredible bill sponsors, we would not have made the progress we did this session. We look forward to continuing success in the regular session in 2013.