On Monday, a New Mexico Democratic state senator introduced a bill that could criminalize parents who teach their children how to shoot firearms if that child is not deemed an “authorized user,” specifying, “A minor may be an authorized user only if the minor is at least twelve years of age and has successfully completed a firearm safety training course.”
State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Bernalillo) recently introduced State Bill 224, which states:
It is an offense for a firearm owner or authorized user to store or keep a firearm in any premises unless the firearm is secured in a locked container or secured by a gun lock or other means so as to render the firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the owner or other authorized user.
If a firearm owner or authorized user knows or reasonably should have known that a minor, an at-risk person or a prohibited person could gain access to a firearm belonging to or under the control of that owner or authorized person, and if a minor, an at-risk person or a prohibited person obtained access to that firearm, it is an offense if the firearm owner or authorized user failed to secure the firearm in a locked container or by a lock or other means so as to render such firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the firearm owner or other authorized user.
A minor may be an authorized user only if the minor is at least twelve years of age and has successfully completed a firearm safety training course.
The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) warned that the “storage mandate” in the bill “would make it a crime for a child to handle your firearm unless the child was 12 or older and had previously completed a firearms safety class,” as the PinonPost reported.
“You would become a criminal for taking your child to go shooting if they had not previously taken some kind of formal class,” NMSSA said. “The bill is an uneducated attempt to demonize firearms … It is already a crime to place a child in a situation that endangers their life, this law does nothing to add to a child’s safety.”
NMSSA stated, “The law is completely unenforceable unless they plan on going door-to-door inspecting firearm storage in your home. But this bill again goes beyond what they have attempted in the past. If a prohibited possessor gains access to your firearm you are liable as well. … Albuquerque is the property crime capital of America; if your home or vehicle was broken into and a convicted felon stole your firearm, you could be charged with a crime under the bill. Instead of taking on the issue of the crime wave that has engulfed Albuquerque and other parts of the state, Sedillo Lopez wants to blame you, someone just seeking to defend yourself, if your firearm is stolen.”
Sedillo Lopez has also targeted fracking: “State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would enact a four-year pause on fracking permits while studies are conducted to determine the impacts of fracking on agriculture, environment and water resources and public health,” NMPoliticalReport noted on January 6.
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Author: Hank Berrien