New Mexico governor signs law requiring background checks for almost all firearm sales

New Mexico governor signs law requiring background checks for almost all firearm sales
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamUtah increases coronavirus restrictions amid rising cases New Mexico to renew coronavirus restrictions, warning of more if cases continue to rise US coronavirus numbers rise, raising worries about winter MORE (D) on Friday signed a bill requiring background checks on almost all firearm sales in the state.

The legislation makes it a misdemeanor to sell a firearm to almost anyone without a background check, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The bill, which is opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), will go into effect in July.


“It’s clear to me that the NRA isn’t going to stop trying to meddle in making this a safer state,” Lujan Grisham said Friday. “We all have a constitutional right to be safe in our homes and our communities,” she later added.

Gun store owners and those with federal firearm licenses are now required by law to conduct background checks before selling a gun.

All other sales, including those between people over the internet, will require a background check through a federal firearms license holder.

Sales between law enforcement officers or immediate family members will not be subject to the background checks required by the legislation. The law also would not apply to antique firearms, construction tools or emergency flares.

Republicans have vowed to fight the legislation, saying they will push petitions calling for a statewide vote on repealing the law, the newspaper reported. Opponents to the law argue that the bill infringes on constitutional rights to carry firearms and claim it won’t prevent crime.

Twenty-five officials in the state’s 33 counties adopted “Second Amendment Sanctuary” declarations this week, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The declarations say the counties effectively will refuse to enforce the law.

Gun control advocates and the legislation's supporters said it will close a loophole in the state law and keep weapons away from dangerous people.

“They reduce the rate of women killed by an intimate partner, they reduce suicide rates, they reduce the rate of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty – they save lives,” Lujan Grisham wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. House last month approved legislation that would require all gun sellers to conduct background checks on gun buyers. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a Senate vote | Pelosi, Mnuchin see progress, but no breakthrough | Trump, House lawyers return to court in fight over financial records Progress, but no breakthrough, on coronavirus relief McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a vote in Senate MORE (D-Cali.) applauded Lujan Grisham for signing the legislation into law, encouraging the U.S. Senate to pass the federal bill.

“Too many Americans have lost loved ones to the gun violence epidemic,” Pelosi tweeted Friday. “It’s time to take immediate action to save lives — which the Senate can do by voting to pass #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. #enough.”