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Victory for Gun Sense: New Mexico Moms Demand Action, Everytown Applaud New Mexico Legislature’s Final Passage of Legislation to Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales

March 6, 2019

Legislation Would Close 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 the New Mexico House for passing SB 8, legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales in the state. The legislation now heads to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk to be signed into law. Gov. Lujan Grisham has urged the legislature to pass this legislation and has pledged to sign the bill into law.

“A strong majority of New Mexicans want background checks on all gun sales, and now they’re about to get them,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown applauds the New Mexico legislature for taking this common-sense step to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and we look forward to Governor Lujan Grisham signing the bill.”

“Today, New Mexicans proved to the nation that it’s possible to have a strong tradition of gun ownership and strong gun laws,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This soon-to-be law will surely save lives. We owe a debt of gratitude to all who fought for this common-sense step.”

“I’m so proud of my fellow Moms Demand Action volunteers and all New Mexicans who showed up to demand stronger gun laws to keep our families safe,” said Emilie De Angelis, volunteer leader with the New Mexico Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It means so much to see the legislature prioritize gun violence prevention this legislative session. I look forward to gun sense champion Gov. Lujan Grisham signing this life-saving legislation into law, creating a safer New Mexico.”

“It’s in my mother’s memory that I continue to fight for stronger gun laws in the state I call home,” 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. “I’m proud to see our lawmakers stand up for what’s right by passing this life-saving legislation that will help 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 vote, New Mexico becomes the 21st state to pass 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 never implemented. States including Minnesota, Delaware and Florida are expected to consider bills to strengthen the background check system this year.

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