Loophole in Current New Mexico Law Allows Criminals, Domestic Abusers and Other Dangerous People to Obtain Guns from Unlicensed Sellers, With No Background Check, No Questions Asked
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 Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard, Senator Richard Martinez and Senate Majority Leader-Elect Peter Wirth for pre-filing a bill for the upcoming legislative session to close the background check loophole in New Mexico and require criminal background checks for all gun sales. Under current law, background checks are only required for sales conducted by licensed gun dealers, so criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people can buy guns from unlicensed sellers – including strangers they meet online and at gun shows – with no background check, no questions asked. New Mexico can address this problem while also respecting the rights of law abiding gun owners and the state’s proud tradition of gun ownership. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have acted to close this loophole.
STATEMENT FROM CHERYL HAASE, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE NEW MEXICO CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“New Mexico Moms Demand Action volunteers applaud Representative Garcia Richard, Senator Martinez and Senate Majority Leader-Elect Wirth for their commitment to saving lives from gun violence by sponsoring this bill to close the background check loophole next legislative session. As a mom and a member of this community, I believe that common sense gun laws go hand in hand with our Second Amendment rights. And it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to put the safety of our families and communities ahead of the gun lobby’s interests. That starts with passing a law requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales to help keep guns out of dangerous hands. Our leaders in the statehouse can expect to hear from me and my fellow New Mexicans about the importance of closing the background check loophole because lives are on the line.”
STATEMENT FROM ROBIN BRULE, MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK, WHOSE MOTHER WAS SHOT AND KILLED IN A FRIEND’S HOME BY AN INTRUDER:
“I have lived through the anguish of having my mother ripped from my arms by gun violence – it’s a pain in my heart that I wish on no other person. Gun violence is a pervasive issue in New Mexico and there is more we can do to help keep guns out of dangerous hands. Right now in our state, it is far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns. I’m proud that Representative Garcia Richard, Senator Martinez and Senate Majority Leader-Elect Wirth have taken action by sponsoring this bill that will close the gaping loophole in our background check laws. This is a real first step in protecting all members of our communities.”
Background checks are a proven way to help save lives. In states with background checks on all handgun sales, 46 percent fewer women are shot and killed by intimate partners, there are 48 percent fewer gun suicides, and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns in the line of duty.
During the 2016 election, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America made it a priority to elect a bipartisan background check majority to the statehouse. This included supporting elected officials who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to protect New Mexico families and communities from gun violence, as well as holding elected officials accountable when they don’t support common-sense gun safety measures.
Over the summer, the Las Cruces and Santa Fe City Councils passed resolutions urging the state legislature to close the background check loophole in New Mexico by passing a law that would require criminal background checks for all gun sales.