New Mexico Legislature Passes Background Check Bill, Sheriffs Say They Will Not Enforce It

Supporters in New Mexico celebrate the passage of SB8. (Photo: Twitter)

The Democrat-controlled Legislature in New Mexico has passed SB8.  Entitled “Firearm Sale Background Check,” the bill closes putative “loopholes” (e.g. the “gun-show loophole”) in the current law by requiring background checks for private person-to-person gun sales.  There are exemptions for antique gun sales and sales between family members.

Violations of the law can be charged as a misdemeanor.  Misdemeanors in New Mexico carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

In a press release celebrating the Legislature’s actions, pro-gun-control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America expressed their approval.

“A strong majority of New Mexicans want background checks on all gun sales, and now they’re about to get them,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.  “Everytown applauds the New Mexico legislature for taking this common-sense step to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and we look forward to Governor Lujan Grisham signing the bill.”

“Today, New Mexicans proved to the nation that it’s possible to have a strong tradition of gun ownership and strong gun laws,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  “This soon-to-be law will surely save lives.  We owe a debt of gratitude to all who fought for this common-sense step.”

SEE ALSO: Their Own Worst Enemy: Leftist Disarmament Agenda Concentrates Guns in Hands of ‘Tyrannical’ Trump

Many sheriffs in New Mexico disagree with the legislation and have indicated they will not enforce the bill if it is signed into law.

As reported in The Journal, “More than 20 county commissions out of 33 in New Mexico have passed sheriff-backed resolutions expressing support for law enforcement officials in deciding not to enforce gun laws they determine [are] unconstitutional.”

The sheriffs believe that the bill infringes on a citizen’s Second Amendment rights and is therefore unenforceable.  They began presenting draft resolutions establishing ‘Second Amendment Sanctuaries’ to their county commissioners prior to the final vote on SB8.  The resolutions essentially say that elected officials would violate their oaths of office by enforcing a law in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Elected officials in rural counties of New Mexico where the resolutions have passed indicate that constituents overwhelmingly support the resolutions.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said that he believes local officials should “comply with state and federal law,” without further elaboration, The Journal reports.

Gov. Grisham is expected to sign the bill into law.  She took to Twitter to express her disapproval of the sheriffs’ actions.

“I’m not daunted by obstacles, whether it’s NRA propaganda, rogue sheriffs throwing a childish pity party or bad faith critics.  Legislative leaders and I will continue to fight the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” wrote the governor.

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About the author: John Thomas is a U.S. Navy veteran, and a former prosecutor and defense attorney with over 20 years of experience in state and federal courts. He has handled everything from traffic tickets to first-degree murder cases and is a long-time supporter of Second Amendment rights and the rights of individuals to defend themselves, their families and their property.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • David November 23, 2020, 5:55 am

    Any “laws” restricting gun owner’s rights are unconstitutional and anyone who proposes such should be tried for treason.

    SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. That’s a pretty clear statement. All the democrats and bloomberg supported idiots are traitors. Nothing less.

  • CJ July 5, 2019, 4:39 pm

    The people of New Mexico have what they voted for. Democrats to take care of them and protect their safe spaces. If you vote for democrats, you deserve the masters you chose. Some people don’t deserve liberty.

  • mtman2 July 5, 2019, 9:02 am

    Some people around us all are so stupid in logic it behooves me how they find their way home….seriously.

    Yet feel a compunction to deal with things they’ve no clue about…

    Be like wanting to tinker with the rules for baseball but have never played it nor seen it played….

    Such is the life of “busybodies” on any level to interfere with the unknown – lacking in “descretionary wisdom+commonsense” = mentally defective.

    They need to be over ruled by our 3-Wise Founding documents – esp any judiciary/legislature/boards +/or commisions = sued for unConstitutionality + forced to concede + comply or be impeached.

  • mtman2 July 5, 2019, 8:45 am

    YES – and the deadliest + most common weapon is any vehicle any nut/killer/terrorist gets in + can kill multiple people multiple times in multiple places..

  • Dan July 5, 2019, 7:29 am

    We clearly need background checks for any political candidate before they can run for any office.
    Some sort of psychiatric exam should be included too.
    It is obvious that too many nut cases and white collar criminals can and do run for political positions, which endangers everyone.
    That is by far the biggest threat to public safety.

    • David November 23, 2020, 5:58 am

      I agree and why is the presidential candidates running for a federal job not required to take a drug test? How can felons run congress and the senate with criminal records? And they’re passing laws they don’t abide by???
      Why do they get special insurance and retirement perks that we can’t have?
      When will we do something…

  • Dan July 5, 2019, 7:18 am

    Very true, and a great point!

  • Jon Peckat March 15, 2019, 8:04 pm

    We the people are forgetting one major point to the argument of common sense gun laws and universal background checks from the anti gun and the 2nd amendment in general. The forefathers drafted the constitution and the amendments with two major beliefs in mind. 1: They needed to limit the power of the government. 2: That inalienable rights are given to us from god and not man. Both have been destroyed and have been for a long time. The minute the Supreme Court started making judgements on what previous Supreme courts have ruled and not what the constitution says was the beginning of the end. The forefathers couldn’t of made it clearer in what it says. Leave it to the corrupt and people with agendas to create loopholes by conning the uninformed. The one and only thing people fear in power is the ability of us commoners to fight back and that’s with arms. It is obvious as the Democratic Party, a.k.a klu klux klan, took and forbid black people, a.k.a slaves, from owning guns. Background checks afford them the ability to track and register every firearm. Why do you think they have wanted to close the so called gun show loop hole as they are afraid of the private sales they can’t track. The 2nd amendment is a right from god not man and it is there to stop the government from taking away any of the others. Common sense gun laws are for weak minded gun owners that evidently have never read American history or if they did didn’t understand it whatsoever. You can’t give an inch with any of our rights much less the 2nd amendment. Look at the red flag laws that completely eliminate due process. Minority report was a movie. We aren’t communist. We are Americans. You have to break the law before you can have your guns taken away. We are giving away our liberty for some false security. There is evil in this world and they kill with whatever they can get their hands on period. We blame the individual not the car, hammer, crowbar, rock ……….

    • David November 23, 2020, 6:02 am

      Absolutely right. Don’t force your commie and draconian views on us, if you don’t want a gun, go hide.
      Freemen don’t need someone else’s opinion to carry, it’s their God given right to self defense.
      I’d like to carry a sword, but they don’t allow those either. Traitors all.

  • ED RAMBO March 13, 2019, 1:56 am

    Both of these Gun Control groups are funded and Sponsered by that low life Criminal Bloomberg, that says it all, and as for the Sheriffs Good Deal, if these Commie Demo-Craps can make Sanctuary Cities, Counties, and States for Illegals, then we have the Right to have Sanctuary Cities, and Counties that Support our Constitutional Rights to Bear Arms. It’s far more Legal than Sanctuaries for a bunch of Illegals.

  • AJ March 10, 2019, 8:24 pm

    As per our founding fathers’ thoughts on the second amendment, it should only apply to “peaceable” citizens.

    Background checks should be standard in any transaction regarding firearms.

    However, extending waiting periods and allowing the investigators to take their sweet ass time does nothing to prevent crime. It instead serves only to undermine the peaceable citizen’s rights.

    Background checks themselves are only effective at keeping legal guns out of malicious hands. It does nothing to prevent black market firearms from being distributed.

  • Robert Messmer March 10, 2019, 2:14 pm

    Quote: “A strong majority of New Mexicans…” Even if this claim is true, which is highly unlikely, rights unlike privileges are not subject to mob action.

  • J. Scott March 8, 2019, 2:00 pm

    Have you ever seen a more stupid bunch of faces as the one posted. MY GOD help us, we are being invaded by aliens, white dummies with big smiles as one more of our rights is stripped away. This law will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to hinder crime only to put more crap on the God fearing good law abiding people that are the heart and soul of this great country.If it’s not the Muslims or illegals it’s our own American Communist Democrats. This country can not take much more before another Civil War comes to us. God Bless America and Keep Your Guns “Locked and Loaded” friends. If this trend keeps up There Will Be Blood In The Streets for REAL. Not a few here and there!

    • Alex Zermeno March 8, 2019, 6:27 pm

      Yeah they look like they just ate a turd sammich. I can see the white guilt on their faces. Most likely they will be raped in the middle of the day in their own homes, they are probably the idiots who post signs on their buildings saying gun free zone or some nonsense. Then they wonder why the “diversity” “enriches” them at the cost of their lives or treasure.

    • Stephen Wick March 12, 2019, 8:56 pm

      Love your post. Yep, it’s treason. Plain and simple. They take an oath to “DEFEND and PROTECT the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC.” Little do they know that they ARE the domestic ENEMIES of the Constitution when they strip it of it’s power one infringement at a time. And it’s not just them. The people who elect them are just as guilty. Domestic enemies of the Constitution. (PS: every mass shooter would have passed a background check).

  • Charles Warren March 8, 2019, 12:38 pm

    We’re at 26 2nd Amendment Sanctuary counties in New Mexico and still awaiting more County Commission meetings. We expect 29 out of 33 counties.

  • Rangemaster11B March 8, 2019, 12:33 pm

    Those “rogue” sheriffs are elected officials, just like the governor. Unlike the governor, they have an understanding of the Constitution, and the courage of their convictions.

    I’ll wager a dollar that the other 13 counties are clustered around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos.

  • Eric March 8, 2019, 12:26 pm

    Gun “laws”, only and adversely affect law abiding citizens. Only a moron believes these idiotic female and eunuch”leaders” are capable and sustainable. Take your state back and MAGA! I was born in NM and thank god I live in TX now. You can have your blue cesspool

  • Sam Bishop March 8, 2019, 10:17 am

    I haven’t been able to find the information the governor uses to back her statements concerning the scourge of gun violence in New Mexico. Can anyone help me with this?

  • Donald L. Mercer March 8, 2019, 10:15 am


  • Blake Richard March 8, 2019, 9:24 am

    I believe that these grandstanding dems do not realize the damage they do to the majority of honest American citizens. Makes me wonder if the new term for organized crime is Democrat. It’s a shame that the voice of Democrats with common sense is drowned out.

  • Steve March 8, 2019, 8:41 am

    It appears we’ve entered the Democrat nightmare scenario. They are the nightmare…WE are the scenario! WE are on the cusp of communism. Driven by a 1000 forms mental derangement and a false protectionist credo.
    Also makes me wonder if these maniacal Dem’s have ANY clue how many guns are around them at any given time, when they’re out in public. How many legal concealed carriers there are in that crowd they walked through? When they’re in the Walmart. At the gas station. In the drug store. Once ALL those are gone from the “good people” only the criminals will armed….and the police are ALWAYS 10 minutes away from the tragedy that’s about to happen!

  • Wylie March 8, 2019, 8:24 am

    I was from New Mexico! Notice was! NM use to be a red state! Then the Californicators move in, that’s when it all started to go bad! I’ve been in Texas for 20 years! I see the process all over again here! Except it the Yankees! These people flee from oppression , only to bring it to the place they moved to. Please assimilate into the area you move into, not change!

  • Michael M March 8, 2019, 4:03 am

    Be an emotionally stable, law abiding citizen and a background check is no infringement to your constitutional rights. It’s really pretty simple.

    • Tim Spalding March 8, 2019, 6:09 am

      You do realize that in order to properly enforce private sale background checks, gun registration will be required. Otherwise there will be chaos as law enforcement can never prove if a transaction ever really took place since the violator can always claim he owned the recently transacted gun for as long as he can remember. Registration will be the only way to prove whose gun is whose. Once guns are registered, eventually down the road, confiscation will be easy and convenient. So a background check is indeed a fatal infringement on our constitutional right.

      • Chris March 8, 2019, 7:00 am

        U are 100% correct! And people who do not understand that fact can sit here and say what do you have to worry about if you’re a totally sane person. Apparently they don’t get the idea that gun registration is a requirement for these laws to actually work. And these laws are as unconstitutional as the day is long. And as anyone who understands constitutional law knows, that an unconstitutional law is no law at all and is void. A Majority cannot vote away the rights of the minority because they feel it makes them safer. Doesn’t work that way. Unalienable rights are non-negotiable. And anyone who says otherwise is a traitor

    • LTCHutto March 8, 2019, 9:35 am

      Michael M, what’s really simple is once you gun grabbers or go-along-to-get-along gun owners are too naive and just flat got your head’s buried in the sand is that once they take your guns, they’ll take your religion and they’ll take your freedom of speech and if you don’t like that, they’ll take your life.

      I’m not a constitutional scholar, but aren’t there at least 4 amendments in the Bill of Rights (not Bill of Needs) that specifically say “the right of the people” ? When one falls, they all fall.

      Grow up, get smart, study history. This is a carefully orchestrated takeover, plain and simple and ostrich’s like you are going to have rude awakening when you realize they’ve taken everyone’s guns but somehow the criminals still have them.

      • markle laws March 10, 2019, 5:58 pm

        The ” right of the people” is in Article I, II and IV. Article X states ” to the people”. I hope this helps.

  • Barry Newman March 6, 2019, 7:24 am

    Fight for the 2nd skew the governor.

  • Rick March 6, 2019, 5:28 am

    “New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said that he believes local officials should “comply with state and federal law,” without further elaboration, The Journal reports.” So does this mean that New Mexico is now going to “Comply with State and Federal Law” and enforce Immigration Law? Think not…

    • Paul March 8, 2019, 8:23 am

      You nailed it. The idiotic democrat leadership in NM totally ignores the citizens of this state. The governor recently called ranchers in SW NM assanine for complaining about the nonstop stream of illegals wandering thru their properties, breaking into cars and homes. Michelle is a flaming idiot.

    • Zupglick March 8, 2019, 2:14 pm

      They did not swear an oath to “State and Federal Law”.

  • Bobs your uncle March 5, 2019, 9:47 pm

    In my county in Colorado over time we’ve had some great Sheriffs, that worked with and for the people and sorted thru a bunch of political stunt crap laws, they know the difference. I can see why a some of those moms aren’t getting any action.

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