SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee discussed House Bill 9 Tuesday. The bill hopes to address the issue of minors having access to guns.

If passed, House Bill 9 would hold adults accountable if a minor gets ahold of their gun, even if they didn’t know the child had it. The bill’s sponsors say it’s not about forcing people to buy expensive storage boxes or violating anyone’s second amendment rights.

“One of the things that we recognized as we were putting this bill together is that there are various individuals with various economic capabilities, but there are various ways that firearms can be stored safely,” says Representative Pamelya Herndon (D). “House Bill 9 actually embraces that in every single aspect of the bill.”

Opponents of the bill say it doesn’t address if a minor steals a gun during a break-in, adding that gun education would be a better option and punishing parents isn’t the answer. House Bill 9 is also known as the Bennie Hargrove Act – named after the 13-year-old Washington Middle School Student who was shot and killed during his lunch back in August of 2021.

The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed the bill.