Even though the 2018 Regular Session of the New Mexico Legislature doesn’t convene for another month, pre-filing of legislation began last Friday. Not surprisingly, gun control advocates in the Roundhouse introduced restrictive firearm-related legislation on the first day of prefiling.
State Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Santa Fe) is sponsoring House Bill 17, similar to federal legislation proposed by anti-gun California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. His bill would make it a crime to knowingly possess a firearm accessory or any other device, part or combination of parts that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. The broad and overreaching provisions in HB 17 could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers, muzzle brakes, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by law-abiding gun owners to make their firearms more suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, or even overcoming disability. Violations would be a fourth degree felony.
The 2018 Legislative Session is primarily a budget session, where fiscal matters of the state should take priority and non-fiscal issues must receive a message from the governor in order to be considered during the 30-day session. Please contact your state lawmakers and Governor Susana Martinez and politely let them know you oppose House Bill 17.