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New Mexico: Senate Committee Approves SB 48, NRA-Opposed Legislation Criminalizing Private Firearm Transfers; House Committee to Hear Companion Bill HB 50 on Saturday

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Mexico: Senate Committee Approves SB 48, NRA-Opposed Legislation Criminalizing Private Firearm Transfers; House Committee to Hear Companion Bill HB 50 on Saturday

On Tuesday, the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 5-3 to approve Senate Bill 48, NRA-opposed legislation banning private firearms sales and transfers sponsored by state Senator Richard Martinez (D-Espanola) and being pushed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s national gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.  The measure has not yet been scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider it next. 

On Saturday, February 4, the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 50, the companion bill to SB 48.  The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held on the floor of the House of Representatives.  You should check in on either the ground level of the Capitol (House gallery) or basement level (House floor).  It is important that you attend and speak up against this bill that will cost law-abiding citizens time, freedom and money.  It would do nothing to stop criminals.  Please also contact your state Representative and urge him or her to oppose HB 50!


Everytown and the media continue to mislead lawmakers that this bill simply closes the non-existent “gun show loophole” and regulates online firearms sales.  In fact, this measure is far more expansive

Senate Bill 48/ House Bill 50 prohibit you from selling or gifting your firearms to any distant relatives, friends, neighbors, business associates, or fellow gun club members without government permission.  The legislation would criminalize nearly all private firearm sales between individuals unless they are conducted through a licensed dealer involving extensive federal paperwork, background check and payment of an undetermined fee.  Licensed dealers maintain this paperwork recording these transfers for twenty years and turn it over to the government if they ever go out of business. 

SB 48/ HB 50 similarly restrict temporary firearm transfers or loans -- not just gun sales.  There are a limited number of exemptions, including transfers taking place exclusively at shooting ranges, while hunting or trapping, or during an organized competition or performance, or any time the transferor remains present the entire duration of the transfer.  These exemptions are confusing, raise serious questions about the bills’ scope, compliance and enforceability, and highlight the overreach of the measures.  Activities that could be criminalized under the bills without going through an FFL and obtaining government permission:

  • An individual loaning his or her significant other a handgun for self-protection when homes or apartments in her neighborhood have been burglarized;
  • A member of the military who is deployed overseas and wants to store his or her personal firearms with a trusted friend;
  • Someone borrowing their co-worker’s gun to take on a hunting trip, to the local range or to shoot on BLM land when the colleague cannot accompany him or her on the excursion.
  • Working ranch employees possessing and transporting ranch-owned rifles in vehicles or on their person.
  • Volunteers staging auction or raffle items for a non-profit, charitable fundraising event where a firearm is displayed.

SB 48/ HB 50 also require the return of loaned firearms to original owners be conducted through a licensed dealer, with completion of federal paperwork and payment of an undetermined fee. 

Please click the “Take Action” button above to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50 when it comes up for a vote.  To locate who represents you, click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.