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Comments on the “Rocket Docket” of Victim Disarmament Legislation
by Mike Blessing
mikewb1971@protonmail.com

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

From: Mike Blessing
To: Elizabeth "Liz" Thomson (D-24),
Representative Andrea Romero (D-46),
Representative Candy Spence Ezzell (R-58),
Representative Angelica Rubio (D-35),
Representative Gregg Schmedes (R-22) [1]
CC: Representative Antonio Maestas (D-16) [2],
Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-13),
Representative Debra M. Sariñana (D-21),
Representative Miguel P. Garcia (D-14),
Representative Joy Garratt (D-29),
Representative Daymon Ely (D-23),
Representative Deborah A. Armstrong (D-17),
Representative Linda M. Trujillo (D-48)
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019, 12:00 PM MST
Subject: Comments on the "Rocket Docket" of Victim Disarmament Legislation

Honored Memebers of the Committee:

First, I am writing to say that some of the legislation under consideration by the committee is not properly labelled as “gun control”. Gun control constitutes the safe, proficient, and proper use of a firearm — the four safety rules, stance, grip, sight alignment and picture, breathing, trigger operation, target selection, etc.

Rather, the legislation in question (HB 8, HB 40, HB 83, HB 87, HB 130) is more properly called “victim disarmament,” in that the people most likely to be affected by it are the people who have the most reason to own and carry firearms for self-defense — the little old lady or the paraplegic who lives alone in a bad neighborhood, the five-foot-nothing 100-pound woman being stalked by a six-foot 200-pound deranged ex-boyfriend.

The bad people (the criminals, terrorists, and violence-inclined mental defectives) whom the proponents of this legislation say will be disarmed by it most likely will not be affected in the least. If they want access to a firearm, they will have it, by hook or by crook.

You see, the bad guys have found this massive loophole in the existing restrictions on private civilians' rights to own and carry weapons called "breaking the law."

There are already 20,000 to 25,000 existing restrictions upon the pre-existing individual, civil, Constitutional, human right to own and carry weapons, which are supposed to be guaranteed against State infringement by the Second Amendment and Article 2, Section 6 of the State Constitution. None of these anti-liberty statutes has stopped a bad guy from obtaining a firearm when they want it.

Laws already exist that prohibit felons, domestic abusers, foreign terrorists, incurable drug abusers and alcoholics, and mental defectives from obtaining, owning or carrying firearms.

Laws already exist that prohibit the use of firearms (and other objects) to harm other people (murder, assault with a deadly weapon, etc.).

I think it's safe to say that all these laws have done is keep honest people honest, the same way locks on doors do.

Those who propose further infringments upon individual liberty aren't truly looking to improve the human condition at all, but seeking more power over others for whatever reasons. No good will come from these infringements — no good has ever come from these sorts of laws, and no good ever will.

Specifically —

House Bill 8[3], so-called "universal background check" legislation sponsored by Representative Debra Sarinana, would ban all private firearms sales between law-abiding individuals. Gun owners will be forced to pay undetermined fees and obtain government approval before selling firearms to family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, or fellow hunters, competitive shooters and gun club members. This proposal will have no impact on crime and is unenforceable without gun registration. [4]

House Bill 40[5], by Representative Miguel Garcia, would require criminal records checks on private firearms sales at gun shows — a perennial target of the gun control crowd, even though studies show that these events are not a source of crime guns.[6]

House Bill 83[7], extreme risk protection order or "red flag" legislation sponsored by Representative Damon Ely, would authorize the seizure of firearms and ammunition from individuals without due process. Unchallenged statements made by a petitioner before a judge, alleging that someone is a danger to themselves or others in an ex parte proceeding — prior to any formal court hearing at which the respondent can be represented by counsel and present counter evidence — would be sufficient for law enforcement to enter that person's home and confiscate their private property.[8]

House Bill 87[9] by Representative Deborah Armstrong expands the state's "prohibited person" firearm law by purportedly incorporating federal firearm disqualifications. The bill would prohibit individuals convicted of certain domestic violence misdemeanor crimes or who are subject to a domestic violence protective order from purchasing or possessing a firearm, with violations being a criminal offense. However, the bill goes beyond the prohibited categories in federal law in several significant ways. The state law definition of "household member" — unlike federal law — specifically includes a person who is or has been a continuing personal relationship, which applies to dating or intimate partners who have never lived together. The bill would include, as firearm-prohibiting offenses, nonviolent misdemeanors with no physical contact between the parties (like harassment by telephone or email, or criminal damage to the property or jointly owned property of a "household member"). Unlike federal law, this bill would require anyone subject to a protective order to surrender any firearms they own, possess, or control to law enforcement within 48 hours of the order. Not only does this bill impose a mandatory surrender, it authorizes law enforcement to seize any guns that are in plain sight or are discovered pursuant to a lawful search. Similar legislation had passed the Legislature in 2017 but was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez. Significantly, the 2017 legislation contained other options for affected parties to comply with the firearm surrender requirement, including storing their guns with licensed firearm dealers, or transferring the guns to a qualified third party. These key alternatives are not contained in this bill.[10]

House Bill 130[11], sponsored by Representative Linda Trujillo, would make gun owners criminally and civilly liable if a child gains unsupervised access to an unsecured firearm. New Mexico already has a first degree felony child abuse statute on the books to hold adults accountable for putting children's lives or health at risk in any manner. The tools exist to charge and prosecute parents or guardians in appropriate cases. Education is the key to protecting gun owners and their kids, not a state mandate on how one stores a firearm in his or her home. [12]

If you truly want to stop violent crime and terrorism, find out what motivates criminals and terrorists to hurt others, and address those concerns.

Thank you for listening to my concerns.

FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee — The committee in which this legislation is sitting at present.

  2. I presently reside in House District 16, of which Antonio "Moe" Maestas is the present State Representative.

  3. HB 8 BACKGROUND CHECK FOR FIREARM SALES, sponsored by Debra M. Sariñana and Patricia Roybal Caballero

  4. NMSSA commentary about HB 8

  5. HB 40 BACKGROUND CHECKS AT GUN SHOWS, sponsored by Miguel P. Garcia

  6. NMSSA commentary about HB 40

  7. HB 83 EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDER ACT, sponsored by Daymon Ely and Joy Garratt

  8. NMSSA commentary about HB 83

  9. HB 87 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & FIREARM POSSESSION, sponsored by Deborah A. Armstrong

  10. NMSSA commentary about HB 87

  11. HB 130 ADDITIONAL FIREARM CRIMES & PENALTIES, sponsored by Linda M. Trujillo

  12. NMSSA commentary about HB 130

Copyright © 2019 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

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