Governor signs measures to combat straw purchases, organized retail theft, and catalytic converter theft
ALBUQUERQUE – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday signed three pieces of legislation into law aimed at curbing gun violence and theft.
“These are all extremely important tools for law enforcement and prosecutors to help combat crime in New Mexico,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But this fight isn’t over, and my administration will continue pushing for more measures to prevent crime, hold criminals accountable and create safe communities for all New Mexicans.”
The governor on Friday signed:
- HB 306 Purchase of Firearms for Another
- HB 234 Robbery and Organized Retail Crime
- SB 133 Catalytic Converter Sales Records
House Bill 306 makes it a felony to purchase a firearm for someone who is legally prohibited from possessing one or who intends to use the firearm to commit a crime.
House Bill 234 creates the crime of organized retail crime, allowing for the aggregation of multiple retail theft crimes over a period of time to target repeat offenders.
Senate Bill 133 requires secondhand metal dealers who purchase or receive catalytic converters to keep records of the transaction that include the seller’s information, a copy of their identification, and legal documentation that demonstrates their ownership of the catalytic converter.
“With crime at the forefront of New Mexicans’ concerns, HB 306 is a commonsense measure to combat the aiding and abetting of criminals. HB 306 both respects New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights and moves our state in the right direction on holding criminals accountable,” said HB 306 sponsor House Minority Leader Ryan Lane. “Law abiding firearm owners in New Mexico will continue to be protected by the Second Amendment and law enforcement will now have a much-needed tool to prosecute bad actors that knowingly aid and abet criminals by illegally transferring firearms to felons.”
“Retail crime poses a serious threat not just to the livelihood of local business owners, but to the safety of the everyday New Mexicans working behind the counter or shopping for their families,” said HB 234 sponsor House Speaker Javier Martínez. “House Bill 234 will be another tool in the toolbox to protect our communities.”
“By revamping our shoplifting laws with increased penalties and additional crimes for repeat and violent offenders, we are holding the thieves who endanger the lives of retail shoppers and employees accountable,” said HB 234 sponsor Rep. Marian Matthews. This bill becoming law sends the clear message that New Mexico will not tolerate these dangerous crimes.”
“Catalytic converter theft has become an all-too-common crime across our state and country. Senate Bill 133 is a smart, bipartisan measure that will make thieves think twice before targeting our neighborhoods to commit this offense,” said SB 133 sponsor Pro Tem Mimi Stewart. “This new law will serve as a valuable tool to combat crime in our state and I want to thank Governor Lujan Grisham for signing it into law today.”