HB77 Bypasses House Appropriation and Finance Committee

SANTA FE, NM - House Bill 77 the “Firearms Transfer Act” is picking up steam after winning bi-partisan approval 13-3 in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. HB77 sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Bernalillo-14) was headed to the House Appropriation and Finance Committee (HAFC), but today Chairman Henry “Kiki” Saavedra (D-Bernalillo-10) asked to have the bill withdrawn from HAFC saying it didn't have a fiscal impact. House Bill 77 will now be placed on the Temporary Calendar, and is scheduled to be debated on the floor on Wednesday.   Rep. Garcia says HB 77 which closes Gun Show loopholes has been refined, taking out the private sales provision and adding a mental health component.

The committee substitute for HB77 makes the following changes:

·         Requires operators of gun shows to arrange for the presence of an Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) at the show and to post notice to traders that transfers must be conducted through an FFL

·         Identifies antique or relic firearms as the only exemption from the requirements of the act

·         Sets a misdemeanor penalty for violation of  the act by transferors who do not use a FFL at a gun show; and a petty misdemeanor penalty for gun show operators who fail to provide an FFL or fails to post information about the FFL requirements  

·         Requires Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to collect mental health adjudication information and submit it to the FBI for entry into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); provides procedures for restoring rights; requires confidentiality and sealing of records; provides immunity for transmitters of information; provides a right to inspect and correct records; authorizes AOC to promulgate rules.

·         Following these procedures would make NM eligible for NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) funding. That program addresses the gap in the NICS data base regarding mental health histories.

“The changes to HB77 of limiting the background checks to Gun Shows only and codifying the reporting process to the FBI on the mentally and criminally adjudicated makes our bill acceptable to most members of the House of Representatives,” say Rep. Garcia.   He adds, “It is enlightening to see legislators of both parties rally around the amended bill. All New Mexicans should be proud of the compromising efforts that contribute to making our neighborhoods and work sites safer.”

You can read more on House Bill 77 by clicking here

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