Gov. Lujan Grisham announces introduction of bipartisan legislation prohibiting “straw purchases” of firearms
SANTA FE – Gov. Lujan Grisham and House Minority Leader Ryan Lane on Friday announced the introduction of House Bill 306, legislation prohibiting so-called “straw purchases” of firearms and making the crime a fourth-degree felony.
The legislation would make it a fourth-degree felony to knowingly purchase a firearm for another person who cannot lawfully own a firearm or who intends to transfer the firearm to a person who plans to use the firearm in furtherance of a felony or misdemeanor.
“We know that guns are far too often making their way into the wrong hands, including juveniles and convicted felons,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “That’s a pattern that must stop, and I’m grateful to Leader Lane for his willingness to partner on this important legislation.”
“We must do everything in our power to ensure that career criminals do not have access to firearms,” said Leader Lane. “The crime epidemic deserves an all-hands-on-deck approach, and I am certain that there is plenty of common ground for bipartisan work to ensure New Mexicans feel safe in their own communities.”
“The straw purchase of guns is becoming more of a problem in Albuquerque, especially among young people who either want new guns, or they want to avoid buying stolen guns that could land them in more trouble,” said Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina. “We need to target this problem both at the local and federal levels. We need real consequences for anyone who is abusing our gun laws.”
Specifically, the legislation prohibits the knowing purchase of a firearm on behalf of another person who:
- Is a felon;
- Is prohibited from possessing a firearm by any law of the United States, New Mexico, or any other state;
- Intends to use, carry, possess, sell or otherwise transfer possession of the firearm in furtherance of any felony or misdemeanor; or
- Intends to sell or transfer possession of the firearm to any other person prohibited by law.
While there is federal law in place prohibiting straw purchases, enshrining the prohibition in state law empowers the state to also enforce such prohibitions.