The Latest: Gov. signs bill to expand gun background checks

March 8, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on gun control initiatives in New Mexico (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed a bill that will expand mandatory background checks on firearms sales to include transactions between private individuals.

The bill was signed into law Friday after weeks of divisive debate over the constitutional rights of gun owners, school safety and gun violence.

The governor, a Democrat who took office in January, commended the bill’s Democratic sponsors, students and other gun-reform advocates who pushed for the bill’s passage.

The Brady Center, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates for expanding gun control, says more than 20 states have similar laws calling for at least some restrictions on private firearms sales.

Sheriffs across the state had been among the legislation’s most vocal opponents as they declared they would not enforce the measure or other bills still being debated by lawmakers.


1 a.m.

High school students say they will stage a “die-in” at the New Mexico capitol to call attention to school shootings as state lawmakers debate a handful of gun-control measures.

The students from schools in Santa Fe say their T-shirts Friday will bear the names of children who have been shot and killed.

The demonstration comes during the final weeks of this year’s legislative session in Santa Fe, where several firearm measures have stirred heated debate between gun-ownership advocates and those who want more gun-control reforms.

A measure that would expand mandatory background checks to include private person-to-person gun sales was the first this week to win approval in the Legislature. It has been sent to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has promised to sign it.

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