New Mexico Bill Could Criminalize Parents for Teaching Their Kids to Shoot

The New Mexico state senator’s bill would also require safe storage of firearms. (Photo: Sen. Sedillo Lopez Facebook)

A new piece of legislation in New Mexico could criminalize parents and other adults for allowing children under the age of 12 to use their firearms at a gun range.

Billed as a “safe storage” policy, the legislation (SB 224) creates an “authorized user” category, which it defines as “an individual who has been specifically granted permission to have access to the firearm.” Minors may only be authorized users if they are at least 12 years old and have successfully passed a “firearm safety training course.”

The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association blasted the legislation in an article in the Pinon Post.

The “storage mandate” in the bill “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,” the group said.

“The bill is an uneducated attempt to demonize firearms,” they added. “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.”

SEE ALSO: When It Comes to Safe Storage Only the Gun Industry Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, denied in an email to GunsAmerica that the legislation would prohibit children from shooting a firearm — as long as they were accompanied by their parents.

“Teaching a child to use a gun would not be prohibited under this bill because the gun would be under the parent’s control,” she said. “It would discourage a parent from authorizing a child under 12 use parents gun without supervision.”

According to the bill’s language, firearms must remain in the “direct control” of the owner or authorized user if they are not in a locked container. The bill defines “direct control” as keeping a firearm “within an arm’s length of the firearm’s owner or other authorized person.”

Along with creating the “authorized user” category, the legislation criminalizes gun owners who do not store their firearms in such a manner that they cannot be accessed or used by an unauthorized user. If the owner or authorized user “reasonably should have known” that a minor, “at-risk person,” or prohibited person could have accessed the firearm, the owner or user will be subject to a misdemeanor charge and a fine.

SEE ALSO: ‘Enforce or Resign’ Says New Mexico Governor to Sheriffs Regarding New Red Flag Law

The legislation defines “at-risk person” as a person “who has made statements or exhibited behavior that indicates to a reasonable person there is a likelihood that the person is at risk of attempting suicide or causing physical harm to that person or others.”

If the minor, at-risk person, or prohibited person uses the firearm to commit a crime or injure another person, the owner could spend up to a year in jail or pay up to $1000.

Sen. Sedillo Lopez is a staunch anti-gun activist who has been endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. She recently re-tweeted a post from a supporter, saying, “Survivors inspire me!”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Dilligaf February 15, 2021, 4:30 pm

    More proof that liberalism is a major mental disease

  • missourisam February 8, 2021, 8:59 pm

    As a police officer in a large south western city I graduated from the academy with the department credo that your weapon, when off duty should be unloaded, and it and the ammo locked away in separate locked places. As a rookie cop, that seemed to be a stupid idea. My son at the times was five years old, and fascinated by guns, My remedy for the problem was to teach him gun safety. I took him out in the desert with a .38 revolver, and found a jackrabbit close enough for him to shoot with my help. After killing the rabbit, I took him to inspect it. I then explained that was what guns did when something was shot with it. I drilled into him to treat every gun as loaded, and taught him how to safely check a revolver to see if it was loaded, and to never take a weapon from another person and to leave the area if anyone found a gun and to tell a responsible person to tell.

    I later unloaded the .38 and laid it on the corner of a bed within easy reach of him and exited the room to a vantage point I could watch him. He placed his hands behind his back and circled the bed corner both ways with his nose inches from the gun, but never touched it. I then took him weekly to shoot and let him help clean the gun. He is an exceptional shot, has never had even an incident involving a gun, and taught his boys the same way. None have ever had any firearms related incidents, and his oldest son was a marine combat veteran and now a college graduate.

    We are becoming a, or have already become a nation of wimps that are so stupid that they think they can make communism work were it has never worked anywhere it has been tried. What morons.

  • Ray February 8, 2021, 7:21 pm

    As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
    – Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

  • Ray February 8, 2021, 7:20 pm

    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
    – William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

  • ray February 8, 2021, 7:19 pm

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    – Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

  • D.J. February 8, 2021, 1:18 pm

    What part of , ” support , protect and defend the Constitution ” ,
    does this Marxist not understand ?

  • Charlie C February 8, 2021, 6:35 am

    So just what in the hell is an unintentional shooting? The leftist socialist are the most victimized species on the planet it must suck everyday to wake up in their sad pathetic worlds to know that the moment they wake up till the time they go to bed they have been victimized in some way shape or form not by any means of their own but by someone else’s fault only. Sad sacks of sorry shit.

  • Mark February 8, 2021, 5:13 am

    What an idiot. Just another way to control us.
    You people need to vote that idiot out .

  • chumley ortega February 7, 2021, 11:27 am

    So… you can decide to switch from your biological sex to something else at the age of seven, but have to wait five more years to touch a firearm? Maybe this bill is intended to address the disproportionately high numbers of “transgender” suicides.

    • Charlie C February 8, 2021, 6:37 am

      Well put these people are a damn joke and now they hold the levers of power to strip every God given right from us. Sad days we’re living in.

  • Dale February 5, 2021, 4:10 pm

    I was hunting on my own by the time I was 9 years old. Going with my dad at the age of 6. Never had an incident in all 50+ years of hunting and CC, and I can contribute that to the fact that my dad taught me well. This bill is pure democrat bull from someone that doesn’t know their arse from a hole in the ground.

    • Roger Brown February 5, 2021, 7:24 pm

      You know it!

    • Jim February 6, 2021, 10:58 pm

      I agree completely with Dale. We MUST teach our children the proper way to handle and shoot firearms in order to keep the safe. I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer and from the time they were old enough to understand they were taught to understand and respect firearms. This was required as I had firearms in the home and could not chance an accident with a firearm. They have in turn taught their children like I taught them. They all KNOW that firearms are very dangerous and should never be touched unless and adult is right there instructing them,

  • A. Landmesser February 5, 2021, 2:17 pm

    Will this Borg support a bill which mandates a $5,000 fine and mandatory 5 year minimum prison sentence, in addition to other penalties, for using a firearm in a crime, along with loss of voting rights?

    You can always tell a true Marxist by their double standards.

    • Roger Brown February 5, 2021, 7:26 pm

      She is just a turd that thinks she knows better, and is trying to make a difference in the world, and the world to be a safer place because of it. She is a clueless, self-important turd.

  • It's Me February 5, 2021, 2:04 pm

    “New Mexico Bill Could Criminalize Parents for Teaching Their Kids to Shoot”

    “Teaching a child to use a gun would not be prohibited under this bill because the gun would be under the parent’s control”

    Ummm……. I think he missed something when creating the title.

    • Shanz February 11, 2021, 5:15 pm

      I don’t know how you teach your kids to shoot. When I taught my nephew he had to hold the gun to fire it.

  • Stephen February 5, 2021, 1:55 pm

    Excuse me but:

    What business is it of the state’s if I want to teach my child the safe handling of a firearm and how to shoot it? ABSOLUTELY NONE! The state is starting to infringe on rights they have no business messing with! Why don’t you try taking the criminals off the streets that are doing the most harm and never get the blow torch treatment they so deserve! I’ll tell you why… It’s hard work and politicians are lazy! They would rather take yours and my rights away and let themselves feel good because they did something, while the damn problem is still out there and growing! What good is taking the legal firearms of a citizen that follows the rules? It doesn’t do a damn thing! So now you have left the innocent guy with no defense and the criminal with the gun wanting to do more harm is still at large! Also, how many instances have there been when a so called good guy stood up for himself and his family in a home invasion gets the shaft because he defended his own! It is past time to put the spotlight on the problem… CRIME AND CRIMINAL! If the politicians would get their heads out of their asses? Guns wouldn’t be a problem!

    • Roger Brown February 5, 2021, 7:29 pm

      The thing is, guns are not a problem, and never were. It is people, specifically adults, that are the problem. The fools are focusing on guns, when they should be focusing on why people are so angry and homicidal.

  • Norm Fishler February 5, 2021, 11:59 am

    As a resident of NM I find this bill most distressing, but in retrospect, not all that surprizing. The first toy I had in the crib as an infant was a real gun and I have had them all my life. For a good many years, I would go to my local range on X-mas morning and just sit to watch as the young Moms and Dads brought their kids to the range to familiarize them with their new rifles. Our Governor, a leftist/Progressive who has never held a job in her life before being elected Governor, has publicly stated that she wants California to be the template for what she wants to turn our state into. She has not backed off an inch in the relentless pursuit of that goal. Sadly she has a whole bevy of Leftist/Progressive fools in the Peanut Gallery who are racing to help her achieve her goal.

  • Red Nebtrab February 5, 2021, 11:57 am

    Beig familiar takes the scariness away.. Say, if a child finds a gun lying on the street in San Francisco, we do not want them to be so scared that they drop it and the gun goes off and kills someone.

  • uhm hum February 5, 2021, 10:54 am

    My two children actually lost interest in firearms after being taught by their father how to handle and shoot them. Once the mystery was gone and they went out shooting a few times they stopped asking to do it after awhile. I miss then wanting to go shoot some targets with dad but I’ve been happy for many years that they knew the dangers of and how to be safe with firearms.

    This is a world where people & children may encounter firearms outside of the home and away from their own parents. They need to have the respect of firearms and be taught what to do when they’re encountered elsewhere. Many firearm tragedies involving children come from curiosity, teaching prevents this.

    This bill prolongs these lessons and makes it burdensome later on. It may even add to the allure when it’s against the law to even touch a gun.

  • John Boutwell February 5, 2021, 10:42 am

    This country needs to bring back tar & feathering for tyrannical government officials.

    • Roger Brown February 5, 2021, 7:31 pm

      Amen.

  • Phil February 5, 2021, 10:12 am

    It is literally mentioned later in the article that this bill would not criminalize parents who are teaching their kids to shoot or handle firearms so long as they are “at arms length” of the person (child) handling the firearm. The bill specifically targets minors who are 12 and up needing formalized training before being able to access and use a firearm without their parent’s or guardian’s supervision. So to sum it up, the title is intentionally misleading and in fact isn’t the case here at all. It’s merely a clickbait tactic to get people to click a link. I would suggest that before anyone starts demonizing this senator or any other lawmakers that they instead read the bill for themselves instead of taking the word of an author who has their own agenda.

    • John Boutwell February 5, 2021, 10:43 am

      It’s still rubbish!

    • J Hill February 5, 2021, 10:56 am

      Typical leftist or progressive who loves firearms laws. You love governments taking over responsibility for raising and teaching kids from the parents. This has led to teaching socialist and Marxist propaganda to the kids in schools. It’s worked so well we can’t have open and free discussion of diverse views in colleges now. This dangerous view that highly educated bureaucrats know more than ignorant common folk parents, has been around now for 150 years and has driven the progressive agenda since then. It’s undemocratic and goes against the values of this country. It just justifies more and more government control. View points of people like you who espouse “reasonable” gun control has led to bans and registrations and abusive red flag laws.

      • Phil February 5, 2021, 2:23 pm

        Hey J. To be clear, I appreciate my guns just as much as anyone else but I don’t understand how you can make such baseless assumptions about the type of government I love, or that I’m a leftist from my previous comment. But what I can tell about you is that you didn’t do too well in history class back in the day because I don’t think you really understand what socialism really is if you think that’s what this is touching on. What you’re probably doing is taking view points from someone who you don’t know personally online and regurgitating them in a public forum where a lot of like-minded folks will see and agree with you because it fits an ideal, not fact or the truth. The truth is that this proposed bill has rather similar parameters to that of the requirements for junior hunters to pass a hunter safety course in order to lawfully hunt. The exception is that this is regarding handling firearms without adult supervision whereas junior hunters are suppose to have an adult hunter with them even if they pass a safety course. This would effectively grant those youngster with more autonomy to handle firearms which is effectively the opposite of your argument of government overreach.

        • Norm Fishler February 5, 2021, 9:18 pm

          The conversation was over as soon as you explained to me that I did not understand what socialism really is. I know everything about you that I need to know.

    • Erik February 5, 2021, 11:06 am

      You are right Phil. Majority people here apparently don’t read article just title and then they start commenting dumb messages. The author Jordan Michaels should be ashamed for misreporting article in bad way in title.

      • Winston February 5, 2021, 12:03 pm

        Soon enough man-boys as you and Phil will want handtools and food utensils regulated and made age-specific by intellectual deadbeats as that cultural alien Lopez.

    • Kane February 5, 2021, 11:19 am

      I sure hope Sen. Lopez or the camel with the big nose did NOT get their feelings hurt when the author was “demonizing” them.

    • krinkov545 February 5, 2021, 12:18 pm

      That nut job is another commie that can die and go to a hot hell.

    • DanielT February 5, 2021, 2:29 pm

      That parents could still shoot with their kids is an interpretation of what the bill says.
      As written, the bill would ban children under 12 from any contact with forearms. Parental guidance isn’t mentioned.

    • Shanz February 11, 2021, 7:30 pm

      With all do respect Phil. We don’t need you, a senator from NM or anybody else telling us how to teach our children about firearms. I’m betting you use words like “assault rifle” and “ high capacity clips” and “common sense gun laws.”

  • Bill Scott February 5, 2021, 10:08 am

    Hitler and his cohorts took control of the children in Germay, and we all know how well the “State” handled that

  • mr. p February 5, 2021, 9:57 am

    who the hell dreams up these off the wall ideas. first of all, this state senator needs to be drug tested.

    • Eric Bragg February 5, 2021, 4:18 pm

      For sure. How in the world do these buffoons get themselves voted into office, anyway? Seems like these seats ought to be saved for people who’ve at least served their country, as well as held a solid, respectable job for a while. Why do I have to share my country with any of these boobs?

  • 191145 February 5, 2021, 9:51 am

    If I’m not mistaken, weren’t we woefully under trained at the breakout of WWI or WWII ? It took the military I believe an extra 4 weeks to teach marksmanship . I taught my kids at 7 how to shoot, and taught them about firearms as soon as they started walking . They just want to program kids that guns are worse than lying, cheating, stealing and drugs .

  • Clint W. February 5, 2021, 9:17 am

    Now that Biden’s exec orders have shutdown major pipeline and fracking issues, New Mexico will lose millions in tax base critical to their state budget. I would have never thought that a western state like NM would be so liberal in as many issues as they are. What happened? Did they get a major influx of Californicators?

    • 191145 February 5, 2021, 10:01 am

      Meanwhile, Jobama can boast January jobs report that the NATION (all 50 states !) gained FORTYNINE THOUSAND JOBS, but not a word about the FIFTY THOUSAND + people that jobama fired 2 hours after swearing in . Well in my book thats a net loss . Did anything like that happen when Trump was running the show ? Looks like NM got what they wanted .

    • Ti February 5, 2021, 12:12 pm

      It really is a ” Do as I say, not as I do”. They are corrupted.

      The next four years will be interesting to watch as they begin to eat themselves. Chicago, I mean Chiraq is a great example.

    • HD February 5, 2021, 1:32 pm

      New Mexico uses Dominion Voting Systems machines.

  • Russ February 5, 2021, 8:31 am

    This is just another way for idiotic liberals to demonize responsible gun owners. I would rather my children know how dangerous guns are but also because of training how to properly handle them. Just more proof of the stupidity of gun grabbing liberal buffoons.

  • Jim TenEyck February 5, 2021, 8:27 am

    Our society would be so much safer if everyone knew how to SAFELY handle a gun. Leave that job up to parents and family! Government ( stupid politicians ) think they need to legislate laws, etc. in every aspect of our lives, because they have all the answers, and know better than “we the people”. Little by little they will chip away at every freedom we have if we don’t stop them. America is not a socialistic state. If these power hungry liberals are not stopped, the America we know and love will not be recognizable. Once they get control over law abiding citizens guns, we are finished. We have enough gun laws now…just enforce those!!

  • Paul Bradford Casterlin February 5, 2021, 8:07 am

    It’s bad enough that this crusading Politician is completely ignorant of firearms and shooting sports that involve children. What really scares me are the people that elected this misguided buffoon.

  • Jesse Scott February 5, 2021, 8:07 am

    Komrad wants to control and brainwash your (not yours anymore) children

  • Tarheel February 5, 2021, 7:59 am

    I have read a number of stories where children had access to firearms and thwarted crimes such as break ins. Growing up my dads firearms were always very accessible, however we were not allowed to touch or go near them unless he was with us. Doing so would forfeit our next hunting trip, plus the fact we had all shot the firearms and the mystery was no longer there. I got my first .22 when I was 10 and my first shotgun at 12, however I was not allowed to handle them unless he was present. By the age of 14, I was actively hunting with no adult supervision. These legislators are simply anti-gun.

  • Billy M February 5, 2021, 6:45 am

    The devil is in the details. When I bought one of my first guns, my children, 7, 5, and 4 were with me. When we got home, I ensured it was unloaded, and let each of them handle it if they wanted to. Sounds like with this bill I would have committed a criminal act. (By the way, I made a pact with my kids that if they ever wanted to see the gun, they would let me know, and if I wasn’t busy I would let them handle it again. Their end was to never touch it if I wasn’t around. It lost it’s mystery and they never asked to see it). Just another ignorant politician trying to find a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

  • Roger Brown February 5, 2021, 6:23 am

    Jackass politicians, like this senator, who know nothing about guns, people or much else of anything related to firearms need to keep their crazy ideas about them to themselves and focus on real problems in our society. They are focusing on the wrong things. Guns are not a problem. They have only recently been labeled as a problem by people who know nothing about guns. People are the problem. They need to focus on why people are so angry and have become homicidal, and find solutions to those causes.

  • Andrew February 5, 2021, 5:34 am

    Efff her!

    • Kent February 8, 2021, 7:15 am

      There is only one Law of our Land. It’s called the Constitution. Use it or lose it.

  • David February 5, 2021, 3:32 am

    It’s the kids without fathers invested in their lives that you need to worry about…

    • Big Al 45 February 5, 2021, 9:08 am

      Please don’t muddy the waters with truths, it upsets them!

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