A New Mexico Democratic state senator has introduced a bill that could criminalize parents who teach their children how to shoot firearms if the children is not considered an “authorized user,” according to a state pro-gun group.
State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D) introduced State Bill 224, which says in part, “It is an offense for a firearm owner or authorized user to store or keep a firearm in any premises unless the firearm is secured in a locked container or secured by a gun lock or other means so as to render the firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the owner or other authorized user.”
The Daily Wire stated that a minor “may be an authorized user only if the minor is at least twelve years of age and has successfully completed a firearm safety training course.”
SB 224 adds, “If a firearm owner or authorized user knows or reasonably should have known that a minor, an at-risk person or a prohibited person could gain access to a firearm belonging to or under the control of that owner or authorized person, and if a minor, an at-risk person or a prohibited person obtained access to that firearm, it is an offense if the firearm owner or authorized user failed to secure the firearm in a locked container or by a lock or other means so as to render such firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the firearm owner or other authorized user.”
In response to the bill, the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association said that the bill’s “storage mandate” would “make it a crime for a child to handle your firearm unless the child was 12 or older and had previously completed a firearms safety class.”
“You would become a criminal for taking your child to go shooting if they had not previously taken some kind of formal class,” NMSSA said in a statement on the proposed legislation. “The bill is an uneducated attempt to demonize firearms. … It is already a crime to place a child in a situation that endangers their life, this law does nothing to add to a child’s safety.”
The association added that the bill as-is is “completely unenforceable” unless the government intends on conducting door-to-door inspections.
“If a prohibited possessor gains access to your firearm you are liable as well,” NMSSA added. “Albuquerque is the property crime capital of America; if your home or vehicle was broken into and a convicted felon stole your firearm, you could be charged with a crime under the bill. Instead of taking on the issue of the crime wave that has engulfed Albuquerque and other parts of the state, Sedillo Lopez wants to blame you, someone just seeking to defend yourself, if your firearm is stolen.”