The New Mexico Legislature wrapped up at noon on Saturday, March 18. Below is a list of gun control bills which passed and extreme anti-gun legislation which NRA-ILA worked to defeat with pro-Second Amendment lawmakers, members of the firearms industry, grassroots activists and our state affiliate, the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association. The Legislature did manage to pass a bill targeting actual criminals, HB 306 by Rep. Ryan Lane (R-Aztec) making it a felony to knowingly purchase a firearm for a felon or for someone who intends to use it to commit a felony or misdemeanor offense.
Thank you to everyone who came to the Roundhouse to testify and work against these radical measures below! And to everyone who participated in the process via zoom and by making countless phone calls and sending many, many emails in opposition to these bills.
Anti-Gun Bills Passed:
House Bill 9 by Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-ABQ) creates criminal liability for gun owners if a minor gains access to a firearm that was not securely stored and brandishes the gun (misdemeanor) or uses the firearm to injure himself or another (misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the injury); NRA-ILA worked with GOP Senators to successfully add an amendment creating an exception for authorized use of a firearm by a minor for hunting, recreation or other lawful uses. The governor has already signed this measure into law.
Anti-Gun Bills Failed:
House Bill 50 by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-ABQ) made it a FELONY to transfer or possess any standard capacity magazine capable of holding 10 or more rounds of ammunition. The 9-round limit would have been the lowest in the nation and would effectively ban the use of some of the most popular pistols and rifles purchased and owned by law-abiding New Mexicans. Left pending in first committee after hearing.
House Bill 72 by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-ABQ) made it a FELONY to possess or transfer a “semiautomatic firearm converter”, which could include binary triggers (which, when attached to firearms, do not make the firearm a machine gun under federal law.) The “definitions” section of the measure was longer than the provisions setting out what activity is actually being criminalized under the act, indicating the bill was confusing and would have been difficult to implement or enforce. Left pending in first committee after two hearings.
House Bill 100 by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) expanded New Mexico’s so-called “universal background check” law to include a mandatory 14-day waiting period on all firearm purchases, the longest in the nation. This criminal protection bill would have added nothing to the existing FBI background check process and only delayed your ability to exercise your Second Amendment right to defend yourself, your family and your property. Left pending on House calendar.
House Bill 101 by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) banned the manufacture, sale, purchase and possession of semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines that law-abiding citizens commonly own for self-defense, competition, and recreation, as well as certain attachments for them; banned handguns with fixed magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition and long guns with fixed magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition; banned parts or combinations of parts from which such firearms can be assembled; and banned .50 BMG caliber ammunition. Current owners of any of these firearms or items would have had to register them with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety prior to March 1, 2024, to maintain possession, or transfer them out of state or to a federal firearm licensed dealer, or face criminal charges. Left pending in second committee after two hearings.
House Bill 238 by Rep. Joy Garratt (D-ABQ) made it a felony to discharge a firearm in a densely populated area (a term undefined in the bill) with no exceptions for self-defense or indoor shooting ranges. Left pending in first committee.
Senate Bill 44 by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) prohibited the carrying of a firearm -- including by a concealed handgun licensee -- within 100 feet of a polling location during early voting or on Election Day, creating unnecessary and unsafe “gun free zones”. Passed Senate and left pending on House calendar.
Senate Bill 116 by Sen. Carrie Hamblen (D-Las Cruces) banned anyone under the age of 21 from possessing any automatic or semi-automatic firearm, including any firearm capable of accepting a standard capacity magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, with limited exceptions. It also banned anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing these same firearms. Left pending in second committee after hearing.
Senate Bill 171 by Sen. Bill Soules (D-Las Cruces) attempted to supersede federal law and make it a felony to transfer or acquire National Firearms Act items, as well as certain semi-automatic pistols, in New Mexico. Tabled in second committee.
Senate Bill 427 by Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) imposed a 14-day waiting period on all firearm purchases, with an exception for concealed handgun licensees. This would have added nothing to the existing FBI background check process and only delayed your ability to exercise your Second Amendment right to defend yourself, your family and your property. Left pending on Senate calendar.
Senate Bill 428 by Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) created a hostile climate for lawful firearm-related industries and transactions by facilitating an increasing amount of litigation and claims, with vastly increased liability exposure and civil penalties, under the Unfair Trade Practices Act. Passed Senate, left pending on House calendar.