Bill to establish a 7-day wait for gun sales headed to Gov. Lujan Grisham

By: - February 12, 2024 10:23 pm
The Roundhouse on a rainy evening, pictured Jan. 24, 2024.

The Roundhouse in Santa Fe pictured Jan. 24, 2024. (Photo by Patrick Lohmann / Source NM)

The New Mexico House of Representatives approved changes to a seven-day waiting period for most gun sales, sending the proposal to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk.

Although the House previously passed House Bill 129 on Feb. 2, it had to agree with the  changes made when it passed the Senate. Representatives did so after an hour-and-a-half of debate on Monday night in a 36-32 vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 7 amended the bill to not require the wait on sales to people holding federal firearms licenses or concealed handgun licenses, law enforcement agencies, between two certified police officers authorized to carry a gun, and between immediate family members.

On the House floor, lead sponsor Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) explained the bill also exempts sales to people who hold a concealed handgun license issued by other states that have reciprocity with New Mexico.

The committee also exempted gun silencers from the waiting period.

The full Senate on Saturday night amended the bill to ensure delays in background checks wouldn’t prevent sales.

“By instituting this waiting period between purchasing and acquiring firearms, we can prevent temporary moments of crisis from becoming tragedies and save lives,” Romero said in a news release after the vote.

“Having a waiting period on the books will also help law enforcement make sure firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands by providing more time to run background checks,” she said.

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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.