HB 336 Will Require State to Ensure Qualifying Criminal and Mental Health Records are Submitted to NICS
HB 336 Heads to Governor Martinez’s Desk
SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the New Mexico legislature for passing House Bill 336 unanimously, a records-reporting bill that would require the state to ensure that records of people who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms, including felons, domestic abusers and people with dangerous mental illness, are submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill, which has bipartisan support, will now head to Governor Martinez’s desk. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, House Majority Leader Nate Gentry and Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto spearheaded efforts on both sides to pass this legislation.
STATEMENT FROM MAGGIE BYERS, A VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE NEW MEXICO CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Today our elected leaders in the legislature took an important step forward for public safety by voting in favor of HB 336. This bill would help close the fatal gaps in the system by ensuring our state submits all the necessary records into the background check system. Moms across the state are calling on Governor Martinez to follow the legislature’s lead and stand up for the safety of our families and our community by signing HB 336 into law.”
STATEMENT FROM COLIN GODDARD, SENIOR POLICY ADVOCATE AT EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AND VIRGINIA TECH SURVIVOR:
“Our background check system is only as strong as the records we submit, and the Virginia Tech story is proof. There are small steps we can take to strengthen our background check system that will have a significant impact, and that starts by passing laws that ensure all the right records are submitted to the background check system. Governor Martinez should seize this opportunity to close these fatal gaps and swiftly sign HB 336 into law.”
Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct criminal background checks through NICS. Since its inception in 1998, NICS has blocked more than 2.2 million gun sales to individuals prohibited from buying firearms.
The gunman in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting was prohibited from possessing firearms due to dangerous mental illness, but his prohibiting record was never submitted to NICS. As a result, he passed a background check to buy a gun and killed 32 students and faculty and injured 17 others.