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Assault weapons ban bill tabled

By   /   February 21, 2013  /   No Comments

House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee hearing, 2/21/13

A bill calling for banning assault weapons in New Mexico was tabled in committee Thursday night (Feb. 21) when Democrat and chairman of Consumer and Public Affairs sided with Republicans in a 3-2 vote.

“I don’t think this is the time for this legislation right now,” Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon, D-Milan. “I think something is going to be done on the federal level” since President Obama’s administration is advocating for gun control measures.

House Bill 402 was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Easley, D-Santa Fe, and would have made it illegal to own “an assault weapon or a large-capacity ammunition feeding device” unless the person owned the weapon before July of this year, was a law enforcement officer, was an active member of the military or would use the weapon only at gun range.

After the tabling motion, Rep. Easley said of Alcon’s vote, “”He and I disagree on that because we don’t know what’s going to happen on the federal level … There’s always next year.”

Easley has another gun control bill in the hopper — House Bill 578 that would ban most people from carrying firearms at the Roundhouse.

Last week, a bill calling for background checks at gun shows passed the House floor with bi-partisan support. House Bill 77, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, is now in the Senate and Gov. Susana Martinez has said she’d sign it if the bill remains in its current form because it establishes a procedure to align the state’s mental health and criminal conviction records with the federal instant background check system.

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Rob Nikolewski is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org based in Santa Fe, N.M. Contact him at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @NMWatchdog.

  • Robert Shuttles

    Rep. Stephen Easley appears to have a problem with trusting the people of New Mexico. First he proposes a gun ban bill that targets weapons used in about 4% of the homicides and probably less than that for suicides. Next, he wants to ban guns in the Roundhouse except for police, legislative security and the Governor and the Lt. Governor. Now I just have to ask, “How many shooting have there been in the legislature since 1912 when New Mexico became a state?” Legislators are included in this ban along with CCW holders but the Governor and the Lt. Governor are exempted. This sounds like an answer to a nonexistent problem.

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