Gun bill introduced in NM legislature

Posted at: 01/16/2013 6:43 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

While President Obama discussed his goals for nationwide gun legislation, New Mexico lawmakers got their first peek at a gun control bill on the state level.

House Bill 77, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia of Bernalillo County's South Valley, is aimed at requiring background checks for people who buy firearms at gun shows and in private deals. Currently, those sales do not require background checks in New Mexico. If it passes, gun show sellers and private sellers would have to run a background check on their buyers through a phone system that would be set up by the state Department of Public Safety.  Buyers who are listed as felons, fugitives from the law, or people who have been judged mentally ill would be ineligible to buy guns.

President Obama is pushing for something similar nationwide. KOB Eyewitness News 4 found some gun owners open to the idea.

"The background check is one thing I wouldn't mind," said Logan Sherwood of Farmington, shopping at Albuquerque's popular Calibers gun store and indoor shooting range. "I can pass a background check. If you buy a firearm you should be able to pass a background check. We don't want criminals - felons."

But some other key parts of the President's gun control package aren't popular with gun people, especially banning assault-style weapons and limiting ammo clips to ten rounds.

"It really is not going to solve the problem," said Calibers shopper David DiRusso. "The problem is to stop criminals, not the law-abiding citizen. It's just not right."

The owners of Calibers said they support improved background checks, but they said the real problem is unauthorized access to firearms by people who are not legally qualified to have them.