New Mexico governor signs 3 public safety bills into law

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed three bills into law Thursday, cracking down on catalytic converter theft, retail crime and “straw gun purchases.”

Straw gun purchases involve someone buying a gun for another person who’s legally not allowed to have one, or if they know that person wants to cause harm with that gun.

Lawmakers said straw purchases are one of the biggest drivers of gun violence in the nation. House Bill 306 passed the New Mexico Legislature and makes those purchases a fourth-degree felony.

House Bill 234 cracks down on organized retail crime and sets stricter punishments, such as making aggravated shoplifting a third-degree felony. The bill defines it as when a person assaults or strikes someone with a deadly weapon immediately after shoplifting or while trying to flee the scene.

Senate Bill 133 requires secondhand metal dealers to ask for documentation when someone is trying to sell a catalytic converter for scrap metal. Dealers will have to ask the seller for proof that they own and/or purchased the vehicle that the converter belongs to. The dealers also have to keep records of catalytic converter sales and acquisitions.

Read the full bill texts here: