New Mexico legislators propose 7 new gun laws

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Legislators in New Mexico have proposed seven gun laws in a wide-ranging package of proposals.

Members of a House committee want to establish a two-week waiting period for firearm purchases plus prohibit the sale and possession of certain semiautomatic rifles and handguns in the state.

The proposed ban would go into effect in March 2024 with some exemptions for people who already have the prohibited firearms.

Meanwhile, a proposal to ban AR-15-style rifles in New Mexico began moving Tuesday through the Legislature.

Also advancing in the legislative session were proposals to ban firearms at polling places, raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 and prohibit the sale of hollow-point bullets.

The proposals passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee and head next to the House Judiciary Committee, potentially their final step before reaching the full chamber.

House approval would send the bills to the state Senate.

Lawmakers have until March 18 to grant final passage that would send a bill to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Democratic legislators are pursuing aggressive new gun-control measures intended to address mass shootings and other crime.

But Republican lawmakers and other opponents said the restrictions would interfere with the rights of law-abiding citizens and do nothing to deter crime.

New Mexico’s firearm fatality rate is among the nation’s highest with 562 state residents dying in 2021 due to gun-related injuries, according to state Department of Health data.

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