Background checks for private gun sales barely passes Senate floor

Politics - Government

A gun bill calling for more background checks on private sales barely passed the Senate. The debate lasted for over three hours. Lawmakers on both sides of this issue said their peace about this bill.

“What we’re trying to ensure is that people who pose a danger to our society do not have guns,” said Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, (D) Albuquerque.

“If we were simply out on the range and we simply exchanged firearms for five minutes, that’s two, that’s four crimes, now all of a sudden both of us are felons because of that exchange,” said Sen. William Sharer, (R) Farmington.

Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Democrats Peter Wirth and Richard Martinez, would make it illegal for someone to sell a gun without doing a federal instant background check. This is targeting private sales from one person to another.

One of the examples is Davon Lymon. A couple sold him the gun in a private sale without a background check. Lymon is accused of using that gun to kill police officer Daniel Webster.

Democrats said this bill will improve gun safety, but Republicans said it won’t stop bad guys from selling guns to other bad guys.

“I just don’t think this bill will really do what we think it will,” said Sen. Cliff Pirtle, (R) Roswell. “UnfortunatelyI think it will make law-abiding citizens like myself criminals for things that shouldn’t be a crime like helping friends or going skeet shooting.”

“Some folks may not want background checks performed, I think they’re important,” said Sen. Joseph Cervantes, (D) Las Cruces. “Again, no surprise here, I’ve inherited guns from my grandparents and father and I own those guns, and when I purchased a gun I went through a background check and I was glad they did that.”

There were a few amendments to this bill, like making it lawful to sell a gun to an immediate family member.

The 22 to 20 vote meant some Democrats crossed party lines. This is the first gun control bill in the Senate to be passed on the floor.

If this bill gets passed, it would be a misdemeanor crime to sell a gun without a background check. A similar bill already passed on the House floor last week.

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