What happened to the Bennie Hargrove Act?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In August, 13-year-old Bennie Hargrove was killed at Washington Middle School, allegedly by a classmate.
At that time, the community rallied together, vowing to prevent another tragedy like that from happening again. The Bennie Hargrove Act was drafted – legislation that would hold parents responsible for gun crimes committed by their children
Bennie tried to deescalate a violent situation between classmates while at lunch. He was shot six times by fellow classmate, 13-year-old Juan Saucedo Jr., according to the Albuquerque Police Department. Saucedo Jr. allegedly used his parent’s gun.
In Friday’s fatal shooting near West Mesa High School, it’s still unclear, at this point, who the gun may have belonged to.
"This should be a wake-up call for all of us that this issue of gun violence and young people is something that we can’t ignore any longer," said Raúl Torrez, Bernalillo County district attorney. "We offered legislation in the last legislative session that would have made the possession of a firearm by a minor a felony and that was blocked."
Here’s the breakdown of what happened to the Bennie Hargrove bill:
Even though the bill did not have any kind of fiscal impact, it was assigned to the House Appropriations Committee, where it was tabled.
The lawmakers who blocked the bill from advancing are Reps. Patty Lundstrom, Phelps Anderson, Gail Armstrong, Cathrynn Brown, Ambrose Castellano, Jack Chatfield, Randal Crowder, Candy Spence Ezzell, Harry Garcia, Ryan Lane, Raymundo Lara, Candie Sweetser and Anthony Allison.
After it failed, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Pamelya Herndon, said this:
"The purpose and goal of this committee was to look at the financial impact of a piece of legislation, not to look at the merits of the legislation and with this having no financial impact at all indicated by the analyst, this was an unfair vote because it says your responsibility was to look at the financial impact and this has gone beyond that. And I’m just saying, to you and members of the committee, the determination of the merits should be going for the Housefloor and not here on a simple focus and misinformation that may have been presented. This was one on financial impact only…"