Firearm Industry Accountability Act heading to House floor for vote
SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s been a huge week for gun control proposals at the Roundhouse. More than half of the governor’s gun safety initiatives have already cleared their first hurdles.
The Firearm Industry Accountability Act is now heading to the House floor for a vote after it cleared the House Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote Friday afternoon.
The proposal from Democrat state Rep. Christine Chandler requires members of the firearm industry to take steps to prevent the loss or theft of a firearm, prevent so-called “straw purchases” where someone buys a gun for someone else who can’t have one, and ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
It also allows the attorney general and district attorneys to take legal action.
Meanwhile, Senate lawmakers debated a different version of a proposed 14-day waiting period for firearm sales, just one day after House lawmakers approved their own version.
The Senate version is coming from Democratic state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, who has been tough on gun proposals in previous years. Unlike the House version, Cervantes’ bill does include exceptions for concealed carry permit holders, law enforcement agencies, and immediate family members. That was something House Republicans wanted to see.
Cervantes told lawmakers Friday he wouldn’t carry this bill if he didn’t think it was constitutionally sound.
“Some things are clearly unconstitutional,” Cervantes said. “And I don’t see an advantage to spending our time and resources pursuing things that are clearly unconstitutional. But here, I’m persuaded. I’m very confident that this is a constitutional protection.”
Cervantes’ bill was eventually amended to say 14 calendar days instead of 14 business days – that was another sticking point for the House version. But even with that change, Republican lawmakers challenged the entire proposal.
“We’re clearly going to be disproportionately applying waiting periods to law-abiding citizens,” said state Sen. Gregg Schmedes. “The Second Amendment’s plain text covers the individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects, protects that conduct. So it’s a presumption of your conduct, your right of access to a firearm for self defense. So that’s where I have the problem with it.”
The committee ultimately approved the proposal, along party lines.
As of Friday night, at last, half a dozen gun safety proposals have already cleared their first committees. However, they still have a long way to go with just a little over two weeks left in the 30-day legislative session.