Legislators hope to debate remaining gun bill

Posted at: 03/13/2013 8:01 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Time is running short in New Mexico's 60 day legislative session, with the only surviving gun control bill still awaiting a hearing in a Senate committee.

That committee, Senate Judiciary, is swamped with bills. Hundreds will die when the session ends at noon on Saturday. Gun control could be one of them.

The bill already passed in the House of Representatives. It would require background checks on people who buy guns at gun shows, just like they do at gun stores. Gun control supporters worry that it's stuck in that committee with time running out. One supporter who's not worried is Rep. Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat.

"From the outside it looks like there's only three days left," Egolf said. "It may look to people outside the building like there's not much time left, but in the final days of a legislative session three days is an eternity. I am confident."

But on the other side a lot of pro-gun people worry the bill might get un-stuck! Republican Bill Rehm, a retired cop, says the bill is unenforceable.

"It's easy to get around it," Rehm said. "If I'm an individual who's at a gun show and I'm selling a gun to you, all I have to do is tell you to meet me in the parking lot and now we're around it. That's why I say this kind of legislation has to come at the federal level so it affects globally where we are."

When the Senate Judiciary Committee does schedule a hearing, it's likely to jam the Capitol with people who want to testify, just like every other gun control hearing this session. That could mean a marathon meeting, devouring up precious hours while the legislative clock ticks away toward the Saturday deadline.