Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Firearms related bills prefiled at the New Mexico Legislature

 Updated, again

 All of the House bills cleared Public Affairs without changes. I sent emails and requests for a legal opinion to the NM-ACLU on the "red flag" bill (83) and to Rep. Garcia and the AG's office on HB40. So far no one has answered the phone, which doesn't surprise me.

I did not see any of these bills scheduled for their next hearings, which will be in the House and Senate Judiciary committees. Those interested should check the committee schedules in case you can get down there. The bill web pages tell you who got the bill next and the committee schedules are linked from here.

The whole list of bills is here. I'll list the gun bills I have found and provide direct links and brief snippets. Please go to the Legislature site for details. I don't want to make endorsements or critiques here for anyone else unless the full LA-SC board concurs. These are my thoughts and do not reflect either a board or club position. This is for information purposes only to the club and others.

SB8/HB 8, background checks. (Wirth, Martinez on Senate side, Sarinana on House side) This bill would mandate Federal background checks for virtually all firearms transfers except a few temporary ones. It is far broader than the final HB 50 introduced in 2016 by Stephanie Garcia-Richards. There are currently no exceptions for close friends or family members. The final HB 50 was narrow and only covered transfers over the internet, want ads, or other exchanges between people who didn't know each other. I could support that idea. Its a Federal offense, not to mention a little scary bit of a thought, to inadvertently sell a gun to a prohibited person.

This bill defines sale as  "sale" means the sale, delivery or passing of ownership, possession or control of a firearm for a fee or other consideration, but does not include temporary possession or control of a firearm provided to a customer by the proprietor of a licensed business in the conduct of that business."

So its not clear to me whether a gun club sponsoring a shooting instruction class and letting students use club or range safety officer firearms would be considered a transfer or if a club would be considered a licensed business.

HB 35 (Garcia) would require a 24 hour reporting by FFL's if a gun is stolen and requires an FFL to pay an annual fee to cover administrative costs of this bill.

HB 40 (Garcia) would require a Federal background check for all guns sold at a gun show, i.e., no private party sales. This would impact gun shows but I don't know how many private sales go on statewide. I have seen a few tables advertised this way, i.e., "private party sale".

HB 83 (Ely) would create Extreme Risk Protective Orders, i.e., a person deemed a risk to one's self or others by a family member or law enforcement could, after a quick hearing, be required to surrender all firearms to law enforcement. These can be contested by the gun owner.  I think a review of this language by a lawyer is better than me guessing.

Note added on 2/4. Over the weekend, I got a review of this bill from the NM ACLU, of which I am a member. To make a long story short, here is what Exec. Director Peter Simonson had to say after reviewing the bill with his legal staff:

The upshot is that we have looked at this bill and concluded that it has substantive differences to the ERPO bill that our Rhode Island affiliate opposed and that the due process concerns are alleviated enough that we aren't going to take a position on the bill. Our reading is that the bill has due process protections fairly similar to a person served with a domestic order of protection.

HB 87 (Armstrong) significantly expands the list of domestic violence offenses that can result in a mandatory surrender of firearms. Again, I'll punt this to a lawyer.

 HB 101 (Rehm) would put into law that a Concealed Carry renewal would not require new fingeprints. Sorry for the wrong bill number yesterday.

HB 105 (Rehm) provides for enhanced penalties for using a firearm in the commission of a crime.

HB 130 (Trujillo) is basically a safe storage law and provides penalties if firearms are accessible to minors without parental permission or oversight. The violations become a felony if negligent storage results in death or injury. Civil penalties are also called out. The bill is written rather broadly and its not clear to me whether the "negligent storage" provision could be used against a person keeping a loaded firearm in a home for self defense, even if nothing goes wrong.

(HB 129) (Trujillo) School Security Personnel and Deadly Weapons would define who could carry at schools as a security resource and the training requirements. Not a bill that affects most gun owners.

SB 201 (Padilla) is yet another universal background check bill that also elucidates reporting to the NICS system and defines how someone can get off of the NICS prohibited list. Ridiculously, it defines a transfer so universally ("C. "transfer" means the sale, lease, delivery or other passing of possession or control of a firearm.") that if I let someone shoot my rifle at the range, I have to get a background check to do it.

SB 224 (Sharer) would waive concealed carry fees for reserve/retired police officers.

 To me, the background check bills are absurdly overbroad and should be opposed or amended. These regulate virtually all transfers of firearms, not just sales. You could not legally "transfer" a firearm to a friend, or even swap rifles with a hunting buddy under some of these provisions. If you were on travel and wanted to store weapons in a buddy's safe to prevent theft, you would have to legally transfer them at an FFL. If you or a family member were upset, potentially self-destructive, and wanted to secure your weapons with a trusted friend until you got over a crisis, you would have to legally transfer them at an FFL. Same deal to get your own guns back. This is absurd.

As far as the ERPO law, we need legal advice from a good gun law/civil liberties law attorney. The Rhode Island ACLU opposed a Rhode Island ERPO aka "red flag" bill on due process grounds and the ACLU is not exactly a gun rights organization. That info is here:

ACLU of Rhode Island Raises Red Flags Over “Red Flag” Gun Legislation

Please go to the bill locations and read for yourself. Call your legislators.  I'll add stuff but want mainly to call these out so readers can contact their legislators with input. I'll add more bills if and when they appear. Those who read this blog know I am not opposed to all forms of gun laws but I am opposed to laws written badly and our legislature seems at times good at doing that.

More ranting and raving here:

Pay Your Tax, Son, and Go and Sin No More...

 Stay Tuned

Khal Spencer
LA-SC Board Member, speaking for myself here. Even the Mutts and I often disagree.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for the information.