Looking Back in New Mexico, Ahead in California – Bearing Arms

Looking Back in New Mexico, Ahead in California – Bearing Arms

We’ve got a legislative double-header on today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co, with Zach Fort of the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association joining the show to talk about the just-wrapped session in Santa Fe and the prospects of a special session later this year, while California Rifle & Pistol Association legislative affairs director Rick Travis shares some of the most egregious assaults on our 2A rights that are among the more than 100 gun control bills filed in Sacramento ahead of last Friday’s legislative deadline. 

While New Mexico’s Democrat-majority legislature only sent two watered-down gun bills to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham before adjourning last Thursday, the governor is threatening to bring lawmakers back to Santa Fe in order to enact more of her expansive anti-gun agenda. Fort says the NMSSA is taking those threats seriously, while noting that if the governor had the votes to approve her gas-operated gun ban, prohibitions on gun sales for adults younger than 21, and other restrictions aimed at legal gun owners, they probably would have passed over the last few weeks. Instead, after sailing through House and Senate committees that are “packed with anti-gun progressives” from places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces, those bills remained in a holding pattern and never received votes on the floor of either chamber.  

“When you get to the floor you have to start to deal with Democrats from across the state, from the rural areas, and that’s where you begin to see some real resistance to these bills,” Fort says, adding that the NMSSA has tried to build a coalition of pro-2A lawmakers that cuts across party lines. 

That coalition-building could prove crucial to gun owners in the months ahead. Fort believes that Grisham is likely to push hard for her version of New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich’s “GOSAFE Act”; a bill banning the sale and manufacture of all gas-operated long guns that use detachable magazines introduced in the U.S. Senate just a couple of months ago. HB 137 was introduced to much fanfare from Grisham’s office, and gun control groups like Everytown celebrated when the legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on party lines just a week into the 30-day session, but that was the last action taken on the gun ban bill before legislators headed home once the session concluded. 

Grisham’s office is most likely having some quiet discussions with rural Democrats to see if their objections to the bill can be overcome, and Fort says gun owners need to remain in contact with their representatives and senators to encourage them to just say no to the governor’s gun-banning agenda. 

Rick Travis of the California Rifle & Pistol Association has the same advice for California gun owners, though he admits that the state legislature is one of the most hostile in the nation when it comes to our Second Amendment rights. Rick spent the weekend poring over the more than 100 anti-gun bills introduced this year, and says Democrats are making a major push to enact gun registration schemes. Tom Knighton covered the backdoor attempt to register guns using insurance companies earlier today, but Travis says anti-gun lawmakers are also mounting a more blatant effort to craft a gun registry through the state’s “handgun safety certificate”; one of those California-only laws that require would-be gun owners to obtain a certificate before buying or acquiring a firearm.

“They’re now trying to convert that into another control point,” Travis informed Bearing Arms. One bill would mandate that if a gun owner possesses firearms after letting their safety certificate lapse, that would cause their firearms to be forfeited to the state, while other legislation would mandate that new California residents who don’t obtain a safety certificate within 60 days would also lose their firearms. Yet another bill requires those forfeited guns to be turned over to law enforcement, while a fourth bill mandates that law enforcement destroy any guns that are turned in within 72 hours. 

As Travis says, a simple paperwork mistake or slight delay in compliance would result in the destruction of a lawful gun owners entire collection of firearms, which is a feature, not a bug, as far as anti-gunners are concerned. 

Travis is also eyeing a bill that would force existing and would-be firearms instructors to go through a $2,500 course meant for those who are instructing law enforcement before they could teach the state’s concealed carry courses; a move that seems designed to choke off access to concealed carry classes. A similar version of this bill is already in effect thanks to emergency rules promulgated by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Travis, who’s an instructor himself, says the rules are already lengthy delays for new applicants and those gun owners trying to renew their permits. 

“We’re handcuffed, literally. We can’t teach. So as a result, the timelines for getting your renewals are growing,” Travis shared. 

CRPA is already suing over multiple aspects of the state’s post-Bruen carry laws, but as Travis notes, litigation is expensive and by throwing dozens of infringements at lawful gun owners the prohibitionists in Sacramento are forcing groups to pick their battles. Unlike the gun control lobby, we don’t have any billionaires cutting checks to fund our movement or our lawsuits taking on these unconstitutional measures. It’s a grassroots army of gun owners who are making donations and helping to underwrite litigation to restore our right to keep and bear arms, and gun controllers are betting that they can pass more bills than we can afford to challenge in court. 

Check out both conversations with Fort and Travis in the video window below, and no matter where you live, make sure your lawmakers are hearing from you this session. Apathy is our enemy just as much as outright opposition to our Second Amendment rights, and as New Mexico has shown us, even a Democrat-dominated legislature can end up seeing the light after feeling the heat from their constituents.  


Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/camedwards/2024/02/19/looking-back-in-new-mexico-ahead-in-california-n1223878

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