New Mexico Bill Threatens Firearms Industry

( – In a letter to the editor of the Los Alamos Reporter, the president of the New Mexico Firearms Industry Association blasted new proposed gun control legislation introduced in the New Mexico state House.

In his letter, Erik Rasmussen warned that HB 114, legislation sponsored by State Rep. Christine Chandler known as the Firearm Industry Accountability Act, would target an industry that has already been “heavily regulated” by exposing it to possible litigation designed to make it difficult for the firearm industry to operate in the state.

Rasmussen argued that the New Mexico legislature was aggressively targeting the one industry “necessary” for citizens who are seeking to exercise their constitutional rights. He said HB 114 would weaponize the civil justice system and “create a vacuum” that unregulated and unlicensed individuals or entities would step in to fill.

He insisted that New Mexico’s Unfair Trade Practices Act already ensures that any bad actors that “engage in unconscionable, unfair, or deceptive trade practices” are held to account.

What’s more, Rasmussen noted that already federally licensed firearm dealers and manufacturers that violate federal gun laws would face felony charges, with heavy fines, prison time, and the revocation of their license, making HB 114 redundant.

The bill would create new civil violations specifically for the firearms industry for false advertising or actions that would harm public safety, health, or welfare.

Rasmussen argued that the bill would allow activist prosecutors and gun control activists to litigate against the firearms industry to “drive them out of business.” He insisted that the bill would provide a “template for destruction” that could be used by interest groups or politicians against any industry that falls out of favor.

Gun reform was one of the New Mexico legislature’s top priorities last year but several of the bills introduced during the 2023 legislative session died in committee, KOAT reported.

When asked about her public safety plans for 2024 during a roundhouse in Santa Fe last month, Michelle Lujan Grisham said gun violence would be addressed during the 2024 legislative session.

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