Stop HB 548: Bloomberg’s Latest Gun Control Legislation

Stop HB 548: Bloomberg’s Latest Gun Control Legislation

We're down to less than a week left in the 2017 legislative session and New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun cronies are pushing harder than ever for passage of any kind of gun control they can muster.  On Friday, we alerted you that HB 548, a re-branded version of HB 50, would be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Saturday.  Thanks to your phone calls and emails, the measure was temporarily pulled from the committee's agenda.

But now it has been rescheduled for a hearing before the same committee on Monday, at 1:30pm, or upon adjournment of the House in Room 309 of the State Capitol.  It is critical that you make plans to attend this hearing and contact committee members, as well as your State Representative, in opposition to HB 548!

In case you missed the flurry of alerts over the last 48 hours, HB 548 sponsored by State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos) is what’s called a “dummy” bill – a blank measure originally filed with no set language to be used in case of emergency, such as when her original gun control bill HB 50 failed to advance.  HB 548 is now what Bloomberg and his national gun control organizations are trying to force on the Land of Enchantment.  New Mexico gun owners and sportsmen must show that they won’t be fooled by any attempt to re-brand and re-write a gun control measure being pushed primarily by out-of-state interests.

The original version of HB 50 was a near-universal ban on private firearms sales and temporary loans or transfers. It was so unpopular with lawmakers that it was sent back from the House floor to the House Judiciary Committee, where it has since languished.  Now, Bloomberg and anti-gun lawmakers are pushing HB 548, which requires that all online firearms sales and transfers taking place at gun shows be conducted through a federal firearm licensed dealer (FFL), which would involve extensive paperwork, a background check and an undetermined fee.  Even if you never plan to buy a firearm at a gun show or through online advertising, here’s why you need to keep contacting your lawmakers and committee members and urging them to OPPOSE HB 548:

  • HB 548 is a first step toward restricting and controlling all private sales and transfers of firearms between individuals by bringing them under the same complex government regulatory scheme as FFLs. 
  • HB 548 expands restrictions on certain firearms sales and transfers at a time when current firearms laws are not even being enforced.  FFLs selling firearms at gun shows or online are required to conduct background checks on all buyers.  According to a 2012 report to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70,000 people were turned down on a gun purchase in 2010 because they didn’t clear a background check. Only 62 of those cases, or just 0.089%, were prosecuted.  Enforcement percentages have not increased or improved in any significant way since then.   
  • HB 548 is an ineffective crime control proposal.  U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics studies show that less than 1% of criminals obtained firearms at gun shows.  States with expanded background checks have a 49% higher murder rate and a 75% higher robbery rate.  The New Mexico Sheriffs Association opposes even this watered-down version of the bill because they know it will not impact violent crime.
  • HB 548 offers no protection against and could eventually lead to registration of firearms. A 2013 internal U.S. Department of Justice memo summarizing so-called violence prevention strategies stated that the effectiveness of background checks depends on “requiring gun registration.”

Again, it is URGENT that you contact members of the House Judiciary Committee as well as your state Representative and urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 548 when it comes up for a vote.

Please keep an eye out for alerts from your NRA-ILA during the last week of this legislative session, as bill numbers and committee hearings can be changed or scheduled on short notice!