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New Mexico: House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee To Advance Expansion of Flawed Red Flag Law & Ban on Home-Built Guns

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Dear New Mexico NRA Member:

Even though opponents of HB 193 and HB 166 outnumbered gun control advocates 80/20 on the committee’s zoom hearing yesterday afternoon, the committee voted 3-2 to advance HB 166 and will vote by the same margin to advance HB 193 when they reconvene on Saturday (though no additional testimony will be taken this weekend).

House Bill 193 amends New Mexico’s red flag firearms surrender law to allow a police officer to petition for an extreme risk protective order (ERPO) directly, and to confiscate any firearms discovered when serving the order.  Owners of guns seized in this manner would no longer have the option of storing them with, or selling them to, a federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL), as the original law permitted.  And language has been added to the bill in a committee substitute to now allow ANYONE — not just a relative, intimate partner or school administrator as provided for in current law — who has information that a person poses a significant risk to themselves or others, to request that a law enforcement officer petition for an ERPO against that person.  The information doesn’t have to be verified, it just has to sound credible, and the allegation could be made by someone who has no mental health training or suffers from mental health issues of their own.

New Mexico’s ERPO law, which has been a failure and tramples on civil liberties with little or no due process, should be repealed not expanded.

House Bill 166 would essentially end the centuries-old custom of manufacturing firearms, or firearms components, for personal use. This proposed ban on self-made firearms would criminalize hobbyists who design or manufacture their own gun or gun components.  HB 166 creates a whole new list of criminal offenses and restrictions that far exceed federal law.  A proposed committee substitute for the measure (which is still not available on the Legislature’s website nearly 24 hours after the hearing) lowered penalties from a felony to a misdemeanor and made a few other technical changes.  However, the legislation still does the following:

* It would make you a criminal if you manufacture a firearm and you are not a federally-licensed manufacturer or dealer, even if using a serialized receiver purchased from an FFL with a background check, or if you possess such a firearm made by a non-FFL.

* It would make you a criminal if you manufacture or otherwise assemble a gun that has no serial number placed on the receiver or frame by a federally-licensed manufacturer or importer, or if you are not an FFL and you possess or purchase separately, or as part of a kit, a firearm frame or receiver that lacks an imprinted serial number.

* It would make you a criminal if you use a 3D printer or similar device to manufacture a firearm or firearm component and you are not a federally-licensed manufacturer or dealer, or if you possess a firearm (or, presumably a firearm component) manufactured by a non-FFL using a 3D printer.  Anyone making this technology, including digital instructions or design files, available for firearms or firearm component production to non-FFLs in New Mexico, would be a criminal as well.

Both HB 193 and HB 166 now go to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.  Please contact Judiciary Committee members and urge them to OPPOSE both bills.  NRA-ILA will notify you when a Zoom hearing is scheduled and provide you with instructions on how to testify virtually against these measures.

Article by NRA-ILA

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