Once again, anti-gun state Representative Miguel Garcia (D-Bernalillo) has pre-filed a measure in the New Mexico Legislature which criminalizes non-dealer firearm transfers at gun shows and takes the first step toward a universal ban on private gun sales. In 2013 and 2014, this legislation was known as House Bill 77; in 2015 it was House Bill 44. The bill number for the 2016 session will be House Bill 51.
President Obama and former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg are doubling down on their support for efforts to restrict your Second Amendment rights at both the state and federal level. Therefore, we fully anticipate that anti-gun activists and pro-gun control lawmakers will press for consideration of HB 51 during the 30-day session which begins on January 19 -- even though the Legislature is normally limited to dealing with budget-related items or measures that receive an executive message in even-numbered years.
That’s why it’s critical that you contact your state Senator and Representative before session begins and urge them to oppose HB 51 and focus instead on the state’s important fiscal matters. Information on how to reach your state lawmakers can be found here. If you are unsure of who represents you, you may enter your address here to find out.
Although HB 51 only targets non-dealer sales at gun shows, it 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. If enacted, gun control advocates will check this misguided scheme off their list and they will march right on toward “universal” background checks, gun bans and magazine limits -- just like they did in Colorado.
Below are some additional talking points against HB 51. Please share these with fellow Second Amendment supporters and urge them to contact state lawmakers in opposition to HB 51!
Why You Should Oppose HB 51
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 70,000 people were turned down for a gun purchase in 2010 because they didn’t clear a background check. Only 62 of those cases -- or just 0.85% -- were prosecuted. 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 77 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. 0.8 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 51 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.