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2024 SESSION OF THE NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE COMES TO AN END

Thursday, February 15, 2024

2024 SESSION OF THE NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE COMES TO AN END

The New Mexico Legislature concluded its 30-day session on Thursday at noon.  Gun control dominated the discussion during what was supposed to be a "budget session". NRA-ILA was at the Roundhouse every single day, fighting extremist gun control measures along with a coalition of pro-Second Amendment Republican and rural Democrat lawmakers, local and regional members of the firearms industry, grassroots activists and our state affiliate, the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association. Thank you to those who participated in committee hearings in-person or remotely to testify against these radical measures (we could use MORE of you!) and to everyone who contacted their state lawmakers in opposition to these proposals.  Your actions make a huge difference!

Progressive lawmakers worked to chip away at your Second Amendment rights this session, passing a 7-day waiting period on gun purchases and legislation prohibiting open carry near polling locations.  We must remain organized, engaged, and vigilant heading into an important election cycle.  The future of your ability to purchase and own firearms in the Land of Enchantment literally hangs in the balance!

Below is a final status report on the gun control bills this session:

House Bill 27 by Rep. Joy Garratt (D-ABQ)

Expands State Red Flag Law

Allowed law enforcement officers and licensed health care professionals to be "reporting parties" to petitioners for extreme risk protective orders and requires immediate surrender of firearms upon service of temporary or regular extreme risk protective orders (ERPOs). This law should be repealed, not expanded. Status: Left pending on House Calendar

House Bill 114 by Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos)

Lawsuits Against the Firearms Industry

Allowed the attorney general or district attorney to bring nuisance actions against anyone in the firearms industry for failure to establish “reasonable controls and procedures” (a term left to the courts to interpret) when conducting lawful sales of legal products. This would vastly increase their liability exposure and make it nearly impossible to obtain insurance. Private causes of action are also created without award limits. Status: Left pending on House Calendar

House Bill 127 by Rep. Reena Szczepanski (D-Santa Fe)

Raise the Age

Banned anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing or possessing any semi-automatic firearm, or any standard capacity magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, with limited exceptions.  Also criminalized the sale or transfer of ownership of these firearms or magazines to anyone under 21. Status: Left pending on House Calendar

House Bill 129 by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe)

7-Day Waiting Period

Mandates a 7-day waiting period for all gun buyers who pass an FBI background check, excluding concealed handgun licensees. This unnecessary restriction will have no impact on crime or prevent self-harm. The original bill called for a 14-day waiting period and had no exemption for licensees. Status: Passed House 37-33; Passed Senate 23-18; Sent to governor

House Bill 137 by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe)

Gun & Magazine Ban

Outlawed the manufacture, sale, transfer and possession of gas-operated semiautomatic rifles, as well as many handguns, that law-abiding citizens commonly own and use for self-defense, competition, and recreation. Current owners would have been forced to register them with DPS by January 1, 2025, to maintain possession. Banned standard capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Also attempted to supersede federal law by restricting certain NFA items. Status: Left pending on House Calendar

Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe)

Gun-Free Zones: Polling Places

Creates 100ft “gun-free zones” around polling locations and ballot dropboxes during early voting and on election day, a proposal that criminals will ignore and will only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens. The House narrowly adopted an amendment to exclude voters who are concealed handgun licensees on a 35-34 vote.  The Senate author agreed to accept that amendment and also addressed concerns brought forth by Second Amendment advocates about firearms in private vehicles and persons possessing firearms for non-election-related business in venues open to the public that also house a polling place. Status: Passed Senate 26-16; Passed House 35-34; Sent to governor

Senate Bill 69 by Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces)

14-Day Waiting Period

Imposed a 14-day waiting period for all gun buyers except concealed handgun licensees, which would have made for the longest firearm purchase delay in the country. Status: Left pending on Senate Calendar

Senate Bill 90 by Sen. Linda Lopez (D-ABQ)

Sportsmen's Tax

Proposed a California-style 11% excise tax on firearms, firearm precursor parts, suppressors, and ammunition, to be collected from New Mexico firearms retailers and sporting goods outlets. This would have made it more expensive for law-abiding citizens to exercise a constitutional right and to practice or train with firearms to become safer and more proficient when using them recreationally, or for hunting, competition, or self-defense. Status: Left pending in Senate committee

Senate Bill 204 by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-ABQ)

Gun-Free Zones: Parks & Playgrounds

Prohibited the possession of firearms in city- or county-owned parks and playgrounds, enshrining the governor's Bernalillo County "public health emergency" gun ban in state statute. The administration's enthusiasm for the bill waned after a Democrat-controlled Senate committee amended the measure to exempt concealed handgun licensees from the restrictions. Status: Left pending in Senate committee

Senate Joint Resolution 12 by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe)

Repeal Firearms Preemption

Gutted the firearms preemption clause in Article II, Section 6 (the Right to Keep and Bear Arms provision) of the New Mexico Constitution and would have sent it to voters for approval. Without preemption, cities like Santa Fe would be able to pass whatever firearms restrictions they want -- including gun bans, magazine limits, licensing and registration schemes and prohibitions on carrying firearms on your person or in your car. Status: Left pending in Senate committee


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NRA ILA

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.