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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.


Since 2010, Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigated fraud, waste and abuse in government. He also writes an opinion column in the Sunday editions of the Santa Fe New Mexican. Rob joined New Mexico Watchdog after 20 years in television as a sports anchor and reporter. He anchored at MSNBC, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Reno and Boise, winning three regional Emmy awards along the way. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio.

  • 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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