Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday signed Senate Bill 8.
The new law improves public safety by expanding required background checks on firearm purchases to include private gun sales, closing loopholes for certain sales like those made online or at gun shows.
“Background checks reduce the rate of women killed by an intimate partner; background checks reduce suicide rates; background checks reduce the rate of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; background checks, very simply, keep firearms and individuals with demonstrated dangerous histories separate,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Establishing a simple, non-invasive, easily obtainable qualification on the purchase of a firearm is consistent with the constitution. No less than the late Justice Antonin Scalia said so. It’s also consistent with good governance. The work we do to make our communities safer is never complete, but this legislation represents a tremendous step forward. I thank the tireless advocates and legislative sponsors who worked so hard to see this day, and I thank the law enforcement officers who have acknowledged this legislation as a useful and productive change.”
The governor signed the legislation in a ceremony with sponsors, advocates and law enforcement officials in the Cabinet Room.
“This legislation is about one thing: saving lives,” Senator Richard Martinez said. “We know that background checks are an effective way to reduce gun violence, and closing this loophole will help prevent those who are legally prohibited from having guns from exploiting a means to acquire them. The process is straightforward and does nothing to hinder responsible buyers from purchasing firearms. I want to thank Governor Lujan Grisham and my fellow sponsors for their support of this very important public safety measure.”
“For too long, gun violence has plagued communities across New Mexico,” Representative Debbie Sariñana said. “This legislation to expand background checks for private firearm sales is a common-sense measure that will keep New Mexicans safe and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Gun violence has affected me personally, and I have seen the way gun violence affects our children and our communities. This critical measure is an important first step towards progress, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the students who inspired me to take on this fight. This is about keeping New Mexicans safe.”