SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – One bill is making progress in the New Mexico Legislative Session, despite not passing in 2022. House Bill 9 or Bennie Hargrove’s bill, named after the 13-year-old Washington Middle School student that was shot and killed in 2021 by a fellow student, has reached a milestone. The bill has passed in the House and is now moving forward into the Senate. “So many students watched that little boy die on the playground and they were mentally stressed as a result of seeing that,” said Rep. Pamelya Herndon.
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The bill passed in the house with a 37 to 32 vote. It states that adults would be accountable if a minor got ahold of a firearm.
The biggest thing sponsors want to reiterate is this bill would not take away anyone’s right to have a firearm in their homes. They say they are working to understand that, especially in rural New Mexico where guns are handled differently, and have made changes in the bill to consider that.
Representative Herndon who is co-sponsoring this bill says they are hopeful. “Hopefully there won’t be any conferences needed because we are expecting the same bill that passed in the house will pass in the Senate,” said Rep. Herndon.
Herndon says right now they are preparing a presentation for the Senate Judiciary Committee. From there it would go to Senate Finance. Additionally, this bill would not impact students involved with hunting events, shooting events, or ROTC students.