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The Latest: New Mexico Legislature passes background checks

March 5, 2019
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham endorsed a scaled-back version of a proposal to spend more money from a state education trust to support early childhood education programs on Monday, March 4, 2019, in Santa Fe, N.M. A more ambitious proposal has stalled in the state Senate as lawmakers grapple with a court order to shore up resources for public education. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

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

10:50 p.m.

A bill to extend background checks to nearly all gun sales has won approval from the New Mexico Legislature.

The 42-27 vote of the House on Monday sent the bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for final approval. In a statement, the governor applauded the bill as a common-sense safety measure.

Republican legislators and county sheriffs across much of the state have described the expansion of background check requirements as ineffectual and an infringement on gun rights.

Lawmakers are considering a raft of gun safety initiatives that also would allow judges to authorize removing guns from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence, expand child neglect laws to encompass the secure storage of household firearms and ban gun possession for people under permanent protective orders for domestic violence.

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9:30 p.m.

Democrats in the New Mexico House of Representatives pushed toward final legislative approval of a gun control bill to expand background checks to nearly all private sales of firearms.

The House on Monday evening began final deliberations of a Senate-approved bill to close loopholes on background checks for private person-to-person sales. Sheriffs across much of the state have threatened not to enforce gun regulations that they find unconstitutional.

School teacher and state Rep. Debra Sarinana of Albuquerque presented the bill to expands background checks to private sales that increasingly take place through online gun marketplaces. Checks against a federal database are designed to weed out prohibited buyers such as convicted felons and people with severe mental disorders.

The bill provides exemptions for antique gun sales and sales between family members.

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