Legislation Closes a Dangerous Gap in Federal Law That Allows Convicted Criminals and Others With Dangerous Histories to Purchase Guns Without a Background Check
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 Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for signing into law legislation that will require background checks on all gun sales in the state.
“Today’s signing is a huge victory for the people of New Mexico and Governor Lujan Grisham, a committed gun sense champion who made closing the background checks loophole a key part of her campaign,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “A strong majority of New Mexicans want background checks on all gun sales — and now they finally have them.”
“New Mexico Moms Demand Action volunteers have devoted countless hours over the past three years to pass background checks, and now, those efforts have finally paid off,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Background checks save lives. We’re deeply grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham and New Mexico lawmakers for taking this common-sense step to keep New Mexican families and communities safe.”
“Today’s signing is a victory for public safety in New Mexico,” said Emilie De Angelis, volunteer leader with the New Mexico Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We are so grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham, and all the New Mexico legislators who have shown their commitment to gun violence prevention. New Mexico is safer for it.”
“Lives will be saved because of this law,” said Robin Brule, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network, whose mother, a retired teacher and a grandmother of eight, and her friend, were shot and killed in February 2016. “Stronger gun laws mean fewer families will have to endure the pain that my family has experienced. I’m so proud of our governor and our lawmakers for passing this common-sense law to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales, but a loophole exists that allows unlicensed sales, including sales online and at gun shows, to take place without background checks. Gun violence prevention advocates, including Moms Demand Action volunteers, have successfully pressured state legislatures to take the lead on closing this dangerous loophole that allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns to strangers with no background check and no questions asked.
With today’s signing, New Mexico becomes the 21st state to enact a law to close this loophole for the sale of handguns. Last month, Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada signed legislation to require background checks on all gun sales in his state after a similar ballot initiative was passed in 2016 in Nevada but was never implemented. States including Minnesota, Delaware and Florida are expected to consider bills to strengthen the background check system this year.