The New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on March 19. The session was frustrating for gun owners. Election of a pro-gun Governor and the addition of eight new pro-Second Amendment Representatives in the state House did not translate into significant progress on NRA-backed issues, as members might have expected. However, with change comes opportunity, and we anticipate that this new political landscape will eventually improve prospects for passage of some of these measures in future legislative sessions.
What remained unchanged is the anti-gun Senate and House leadership and committee chairmen who had little or no interest in holding timely hearings on or advancing NRA-supported bills. It became apparent midway through the legislative session that nearly all pro-gun measures would stall and/or die in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees – either at the behest of leadership or at the sole discretion of its chairmen.
Senate Bill 29 and House Bill 140: NRA-Backed Legislation Eliminating Two-Hour, Mid-Term Refresher Course for Concealed Handgun Licensees
SB 29, sponsored by state Senator Steve Neville (R-Aztec), failed on a 5 to 5 tie vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Several attempts to revive the measure were unsuccessful.
HB 140, sponsored by state Representative Nate Gentry (R-ABQ), languished in the House Judiciary Committee for over a month, and was finally considered on March 18 – the day before the Legislature adjourned.
Senate Bill 220 and House Bill 228: NRA-Backed “Castle Doctrine” Bills Clarifying Self-Defense Rights in Home, Vehicle or Business & Protecting Lawful Users of Deadly Force from Criminal & Civil Liability
SB 220 and HB 228 arrived in the Senate Judiciary and House Judiciary Committees with three weeks left in the session, and neither was ever granted a hearing in their respective committee. SB 220 was sponsored by state Senator George Munoz (D-Gallup) and HB 228 was sponsored by state Representative Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell).
Several other measures – House Bill 136 sponsored by state Representative Zach Cook (R-Ruidoso) and Senate Bill 542 sponsored by state Senator Tim Keller (D-ABQ), which would allow Concealed Handgun Licensees to protect themselves in state parks, and House Bill 148 sponsored by state Representative Bill Rehm (R-ABQ), which would allow New Mexico residents to purchase long guns in non-contiguous states – also ultimately met their fate in their respective Judiciary committee.
If you wish to thank our bill authors for their hard work on these measures, or to politely express your dissatisfaction with Senate and House leadership or the Judiciary Committee chairmen, you may find their contact information at the link below. Please also contact your state Senator and Representative, and let him or her know that you would like to see these important issues addressed in future legislative sessions. Contact information can be found by clicking here and then selecting “Members” or “Committees”.
This alert is posted at: http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=6509.