Bill to Close Dangerous Loophole on Gun Sales Will Go to House Floor
HB 50 Would Require Criminal Background Checks on All Firearms Sales, Including at Gun Shows and Online
A bill requiring background checks on all firearm sales passed the House Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 7 to 6. House Bill 50 would close a dangerous loophole that allows guns to be sold online or at gun shows or even in parking lots without criminal background checks. It has exceptions written in to allow family members to transfer guns to their relatives and to allow for the lending of guns for a five-day period without a background check.
“What we are trying to do is balance public safety with convenience,” said Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos), the bill’s sponsor. “There is no perfect bill, no one cure-all, but states that have adopted similar bills to HB50 see a decline in gun-related deaths of police officers and in domestic violence situations.
Testimony was given by members of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, former law enforcement officials, and other concerned citizens who support this common sense measure.
New Mexico has a rate 11 times higher than the national average of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty. Davon Lymon, the man charged with killing Albuquerque police officer Daniel Webster was a career criminal who was able to obtain his gun without a background check.
New Mexico is the deadliest state for domestic violence incidents. Overall, in states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are: 46% fewer women shot to death by their partners, 48% fewer law enforcement officers killed with handguns, and 52% fewer mass shootings.
Nearly nine in ten voters say they either strongly support (73%) or somewhat support (14%) requiring criminal background checks on the sale of all firearms, including those sold at gun shows and online. [Source: Research & Polling Inc., January 2017]
HB 50 will be heard next by the full House of Representatives.