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Lawmaker seeks bump stock ban in New Mexico

Kai Porter
December 19, 2017 07:08 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Possessing bump stocks in New Mexico would be illegal if a state lawmaker is successful in getting his bill passed in the upcoming legislative session.

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State Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Santa Fe, who works as a lawyer, is sponsoring House Bill 17. It has already been pre-filed and if it passes during the upcoming legislative session, it would make possessing bump stops in New Mexico illegal.

"I view this as sort of one small step toward more rational gun safety laws, banning bump stock, banning a device that lets you convert a semi-automatic into essentially an automatic weapon," McQueen said.

Bump stocks do that by allowing for rapid fire when attached to a semi-automatic weapon. Bump stocks were used by the Las Vegas shooter who gunned down 58 people and injured hundreds more last October.

McQueen said that massacre is the reason he's seeking to ban possessing bump stocks in New Mexico because right now it's completely legal.

"The worst-case scenario would be some sort of copycat attack or really any sort of mass shooting," he said. "We should be taking steps to reduce the amount of gun violence in the United States."

But like any bill, it faces an uphill road at the Roundhouse. The upcoming session is just 30 days and before the bill even gets heard in a committee, Gov. Susana Martinez has to put it on the agenda.

"I would like to have some committee hearings," McQueen said. "Let's work out the details. Let's make sure we've got it right and let's try moving forward. If everything fell into place potentially we could get this to the governor's desk. But the conversation doesn't begin without a message, we call it a message from the governor, without the governor putting this bill on the agenda."

The next legislative session begins Jan. 16.

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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