On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., in Room 307 of the State Capitol, the House Regulatory & Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on NRA-opposed House Bill 44, sponsored by anti-gun state Representative Miguel Garcia (D-ABQ). HB 44 criminalizes non-dealer firearm transfers at gun shows, which would lead to the end of these events as we know them. Misguided gun control advocates will be in Santa Fe to support this deeply flawed measure, so please attend this hearing to show your opposition.
HB 44 is just the first step toward criminalizing ALL private transfers of firearms; in fact, the first version of this bill from the 2013 session did just that. No background check legislation will ever be "universal" since criminals simply ignore the law.
Below are some additional talking points against HB 44. Please share these and information about Saturday's hearing with your family, friends and fellow gun owners and encourage them to attend and stand up for our rights at the Roundhouse. If you are planning on attending, you can find more information and RSVP by clicking the "Register" button below. If you cannot attend, please be sure to urge Committee members to OPPOSE HB 44. Their contact information can be found here.
Why You Should Oppose HB 44
It’s an ineffective crime control proposal. In April of 2013, PoliceOne conducted a national survey of 15,000 active and retired law enforcement officers of all ranks and department sizes on the topics of gun & crime control. Nearly 80 percent said that a prohibition on private non-dealer transfers of firearms between individuals would not reduce violent crime.
Current laws are not being enforced. According to a 2012 report to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 72,000 people were turned down on a gun purchase in 2010 because they didn’t clear a background check. Only 44 of those cases – or just .06 percent – were prosecuted. A 2013 study by Syracuse University showed that gun prosecutions had hit a decade low, down 40 percent from 2004. Existing laws are not even being enforced and proponents are calling for expanding background checks to cover private firearms transactions.
Gun shows aren’t a source of crime guns. A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state prison inmates who had used or possessed firearms in the course of committing their crimes found that 79 percent acquired their firearms from “street/illegal sources” or “friends and family.” This includes theft of firearms, black market purchases of stolen firearms and straw purchases. Only 1.7 percent obtained a firearm at a gun show.
It may lead to gun registration. Most importantly, because a January 2013 internal U.S. Department of Justice memorandum summarizing so-called "gun violence" prevention strategies stated that the effectiveness of "universal background checks" depends on "requiring gun registration." Even though HB 44 currently contains prohibitions on the development of a state or local registry of gun buyers, supporters of the bill are likely to eventually claim the need to repeal these important protections in order to enforce its provisions.