- HB77 Bypasses House Appropriation and Finance Committee
SANTA FE – House Bill 77, the “Firearms Transfer Act” is picking up steam after winning bi-partisan approval 13-3 in the House Judiciary Committee Friday.
HB 77 sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Bernalillo was headed to the House Appropriation and Finance Committee (HAFC), but Monday Chairman Henry “Kiki” Saavedra, D-Bernalillo asked to have the bill withdrawn from HAFC saying it didn’t have a fiscal impact.
House Bill 77 will now be placed on the Temporary Calendar, and is scheduled to be debated on the floor Wednesday, Feb. 13. Rep.
Garcia says HB 77, which closes Gun Show loopholes has been refined, taking out the private sales provision and adding a mental health component.
The committee substitute for HB 77 makes the following changes:
- Requires operators of gun shows to arrange for the presence of an Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) at the show and to post notice to traders that transfers must be conducted through an FFL
- Identifies antique or relic firearms as the only exemption from the requirements of the act
- Sets a misdemeanor penalty for violation of the act by transferors who do not use a FFL at a gun show; and a petty misdemeanor penalty for gun show operators who fail to provide an FFL or fails to post information about the FFL requirements
- Requires Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to collect mental health adjudication information and submit it to the FBI for entry into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); provides procedures for restoring rights; requires confidentiality and sealing of records; provides immunity for transmitters of information; provides a right to inspect and correct records; authorizes AOC to promulgate rules.
- Following these procedures would make NM eligible for NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) funding. That program addresses the gap in the NICS data base regarding mental health histories.
“The changes to HB77 of limiting the background checks to Gun Shows only and codifying the reporting process to the FBI on the mentally and criminally adjudicated makes our bill acceptable to most members of the House of Representatives,” says Rep. Garcia. “It is enlightening to see legislators of both parties rally around the amended bill. All New Mexicans should be proud of the compromising efforts that contribute to making our neighborhoods and work sites safer.”
- House Bill 10 Proposes to Keep Guns and Dangerous Devices Out of the Hands of Felons
Also Monday, bipartisan legislation was introduced by Speaker W. Ken Martinez (D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, San Juan, Socorro & Valencia-69) and Representative Bill Rehm (R-Bernalillo-31) to establish a lifetime ban on possession of a firearm or a destructive device for felons.
HB 10 makes it unlawful for a felon to receive, transport, or possess a firearm or destructive device in New Mexico. Violation of this law will result in a fourth-degree felony in accordance of the Criminal Sentencing Act.
The definitions of a destructive device include:
- Explosives, incendiary or poison gas devices
- Bombs and grenades
- Rockets that have a propellant charge of more than four ounces
- Missiles having explosive or incendiary charge of more than one forth of an ounce
- Mines or similar devices
- All firearms
Speaker Martinez said “Safety of all New Mexicans is a top priority for both parties in the Roundhouse. I am excited to work with Rep. Bill Rehm on this legislation. Keeping guns out of the hands of felons is something we all agree on.”
“Unfortunately our state statutes have been in conflict with Federal Law, confusing New Mexicans,” said Rehm regarding HB 10. “I embrace Speaker Martinez’s support to end this confusion by aligning New Mexico law with Federal Law on who may possess a firearm.”
Federal law already excludes felons from possession of firearms; however loopholes at the state level still allow many felons to believe they can legally possess firearms. Speaker Martinez and Representative Rehm hope this common sense gun legislation will receive bipartisan support in the House and Senate as well as support from the Governor.
House Bill 10 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for further review.