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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Victory In NM: Background Check Bill Stalls After Vote

A New Mexico House Committee voted Monday to table HB 548, a so-called “universal” background check measure. Though the bill isn’t officially dead, this vote will make it nearly impossible for the measure to become law this session.

The measure would have required anyone purchasing a firearm from a private individual through either a print or online advertisement or at a gun show to submit to a NICS check. While the legislation was less sweeping than a previous bill—which would have also required background checks for anyone borrowing a gun—opponents pointed out that it would be unenforceable. One county sheriff, Tony Mace of Cibola County, went so far as to say, shortly after the vote, “It looks like we’re targeting law-abiding citizens.”

District Attorney John Sugg was equally pessimistic, according to the Albuquerque Journal: “We don’t know how we would compel people to provide the evidence we’d need to secure a conviction … I see this more as an anti-gun bill than an anti-crime bill.”