SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded Governor Susana Martinez for signing into law on Sunday House Bill 336, a records-reporting bill that would require the state to ensure that records of people who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms, including felons, domestic abusers and people with dangerous mental illness, are submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill had bipartisan support and passed unanimously through the legislature. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, House Majority Leader Nate Gentry and Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto spearheaded efforts on both sides to pass this legislation.
STATEMENT FROM MAGGIE BYERS, A VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE NEW MEXICO CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Moms across New Mexico applaud Governor Martinez for taking action to reduce gun violence by signing this life-saving bill into law. House Bill 336 will close the fatal gaps in our background check system by ensuring that New Mexico submits all the necessary records into the system. We’re proud that our elected leaders came together to unanimously support and pass HB 336, and we hope they will continue to work together in the future to pass more public safety laws.”
STATEMENT FROM COLIN GODDARD, SENIOR POLICY ADVOCATE AT EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AND VIRGINIA TECH SURVIVOR:
“I commend Governor Martinez and the New Mexico legislature for standing on the side of public safety and passing this critically important law. Our background check system is only as strong as the records we submit to the system and the Virginia Tech story is proof. New Mexico’s new law will ensure that no prohibited individual gets his or her hands on a gun due to missing records.”
Since 2009, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, now a part of Everytown, has led the gun violence prevention movement in drawing attention to these fatal gaps, diagnosing the bureaucratic and legislative roadblocks to repairing them and successfully advocating to close them. You can find more information about each state’s numbers on Everytown’s online Fatal Gaps heat map, an interactive tool that tracks every state’s progress.
Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct criminal background checks through NICS. Since its inception in 1998, NICS has blocked nearly three million gun sales to individuals prohibited from buying firearms.
The gunman in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting was prohibited from possessing firearms due to dangerous mental illness, but his prohibiting record was never submitted to NICS. As a result, he passed a background check to buy a gun and killed 32 students and faculty and injured 17 others.