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New Mexico Legislature Convenes for 2018 Session

Contact Your Lawmakers In Opposition To Gun Control Measure

The New Mexico Legislature convened for the 2018 Regular Session on Tuesday, January 16. As we reported in December, gun control advocates in the Roundhouse have already introduced restrictive firearm-related legislation.

State Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Santa Fe) is sponsoring House Bill 17, similar to federal legislation proposed by anti-gun California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.  His bill would make it a fourth degree felony to knowingly possess a firearm accessory or any other device, part or combination of parts that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm.  The broad and overreaching provisions in HB 17 could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers, muzzle brakes, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by law-abiding gun owners to make their firearms more suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, or even overcoming disability.

The 2018 session is primarily a budget session, where fiscal matters of the state take priority and non-fiscal issues must receive a message from the governor in order to be considered during the 30-day session.  Please contact your state lawmakers and Governor Susana Martinez and politely let them know you oppose House Bill 17.

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish Governor’s Special Hunt Auction & Banquet

Dallas Safari Club New Mexico is proud to host the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish Governor’s Special Hunt Auction & Banquet. Please join us for an evening full of raffles, give-a-ways, games, the Governor’s Special Hunt Auction and dinner.

Come Join Us On February 17, 2018 for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Governor’s Special Hunt Auction & Banquet.

Come listen to special keynote speaker Matt Dunfee. Matt Dunfee is the Director of Special Programs for the Wildlife Management Institute. In his past and current positions with WMI, he has served as the Conservation Program Specialist in WMI’s Washington D.C. Headquarters where he worked on numerous projects related to North American wildlife conservation, private lands programs, and hunting heritage. He also serves as the Director of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, the Project Coordinator for the North American Hunting Heritage Action Plan, and the Chair of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, and Co-Chair of the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan. In his current roles, Matt serves on numerous professional committees and boards including the AFWA Fish and Wildlife Health Committee, national and regional AFWA Hunting and Shooting Sports Participation Committees, the Hunting Heritage Steering Committee, the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Advisory Committee, the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Meeting Steering Committee, and the International Hunter Education Association Standards Committee. Following his leadership in developing evaluation toolkits for hunter and shooter R3 efforts, Matt has conducted numerous multi-day training and information workshops for state and federal wildlife agency staff and administrators on R3 strategies, program development, evaluation, and best practices.

Click here for more details

Illegal-Gun Sting Backfires

Illegal-Gun Sting Backfires

The anti-gunners have long held on to their conviction that it’s so easy to buy guns illegally online. Well, guess what? Federal investigators who participated in a 28-month effort to try to prove that went 0-for-72.

We won’t’ hold our breath waiting for the triumvirate of Democrats—Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.—who called for the inquiry to admit that one of their main talking-points is pure balderdash.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Internet Firearm Sales: ATF Enforcement Efforts and Outcomes of GAO Covert Testing,” was commissioned because the legislators wanted to replicate the results of three earlier “studies” that anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg sponsored. But the GAO findings show that Bloomberg’s studies were fallacious.

NRA-ILA has posted a lengthier report about the study, and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox will be writing about it in an upcoming edition of America’s 1st Freedom.

Under Jeff Sessions, Gun Prosecutions Rise

Under Jeff Sessions, Gun Prosecutions Rise

Gun owners can take note that federal weapons prosecutions are rising under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University report 8,235 weapons prosecutions in fiscal year 2017, an 11 percent increase from 7,488 prosecutions in 2016.

Part of the increase is attributed to the committed effort by Sessions under President Donald Trump to enforce firearm laws already in existence, as stated in a memo that appeared in March of 2017 after Sessions was appointed to his position. The memo highlighted the need for prosecutors to enforce the laws as part of a new directive to use any and all tools at their disposal to charge criminals.

There was also a 23 percent increase in the number of defendants charged with unlawful possession of a firearm—more than 2,600, compared to the same period in 2016—in the three months after the memo was written, according to the Justice Department. Common charges for violations within the law include prohibiting felons from having a firearm, an enhancement of penalties using a gun during a crime, and the illegal possession of guns by illegal immigrants.

Gun Laws Don’t Protect Citizens, Secret Service Agent Says

Even though former law enforcement officers are legally authorized to carry a concealed gun in New York City, Dan Bongino says he still worries about what would happen if he had to use his gun to defend himself there.

It’s not enough for a person to just research the laws of any state or city they visit, Bongino tells Grant Stinchfield on an NRATV program, because someone can still get caught up in legal problems. Bongino says he has all the necessary paperwork, but he’s scared to carry in New York City because the laws are so Draconian and he fears being caught up in some kind of legal or administrative hassle. Hence, the need for Congress to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

He reminds people who carry that even if the Act passes, one still has to be aware of some local laws, such as magazine capacity restrictions, that would still hold sway in jurisdictions.

Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Prefiling Bills for 2018 Session

Even though the 2018 Regular Session of the New Mexico Legislature doesn’t convene for another month, pre-filing of legislation began last Friday.  Not surprisingly, gun control advocates in the Roundhouse introduced restrictive firearm-related legislation on the first day of prefiling.

State Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Santa Fe) is sponsoring House Bill 17, similar to federal legislation proposed by anti-gun California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.  His bill would make it a crime to knowingly possess a firearm accessory or any other device, part or combination of parts that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm.  The broad and overreaching provisions in HB 17 could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers, muzzle brakes, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by law-abiding gun owners to make their firearms more suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, or even overcoming disability.  Violations would be a fourth degree felony.

The 2018 Legislative Session is primarily a budget session, where fiscal matters of the state should take priority and non-fiscal issues must receive a message from the governor in order to be considered during the 30-day session.  Please contact your state lawmakers and Governor Susana Martinez and politely let them know you oppose House Bill 17.

The Washington Post Exposes Pelosi Lie on National Reciprocity

The Washington Post Exposes Pelosi Lie on National Reciprocity

As the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Of course, such a record would be an improvement for the Washington Post’s gun coverage. However, over the past year, the Post’s Fact Checker column has provided readers with a handful of well-researched pieces challenging the ridiculous assertions made by some gun control advocates. This week brought their latest, where writer Glenn Kessler admonished House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her recent comments on H.R. 38, or the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

Specifically, the article targeted a December 6 tweet from the former House speaker, where she stated,

Inviting violent criminals to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives

Inviting domestic abusers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives

Inviting convicted stalkers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives

Yet the @HouseGOP just voted to do exactly that #StopCCR

Earlier that day, the House passed H.R. 38 with bipartisan support by a 231-198 vote. The legislation would require states that issue Right-to-Carry permits to recognize the Right-to-Carry permits of all other states. Under the House legislation, law-abiding individuals from states where a permit is not required would also be able to carry in other states so long as they carry valid photo identification.

In relation to the tweet, a Pelosi spokesman told Kessler that the “information [was] provided by Everytown for Gun Safety.” Pelosi’s office also told Kessler that “the bill is terrible.”

Going to the heart of the matter, Kessler pointed out that the categories of individuals Pelosi listed are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law. Specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) prohibits possession by any person, 

who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year

or, 

who is subject to a court order that—
(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

(C)

(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury;

or,

who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

States have small variations on the scope of individuals they prohibit from carrying firearms, but federal law targets the broad categories Pelosi mentioned. Explaining this fact, Kessler noted, “the differences among most states may loom larger in the gun debate than in reality.” Moreover, Pelosi should be well aware of the federal prohibition concerning those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; in 1996 she voted to approve the final version of H.R.3610, which contained this restriction.

Kessler went on to note that some form of Right-to-Carry reciprocity is already the law for the vast majority of states. In fact, a majority of states already either recognize carry permits from all other states, or recognize the permits of any state where their permit is recognized – without any further conditions.

Pelosi’s dishonest tweet earned her a well-deserved three out of four Pinocchios from the Post. However, there is a solid case for a fourth.

It is Pelosi’s central thesis that H.R. 38 poses a public safety risk. Kessler addressed this by pointing to a letter to congressional leadership in support of H.R. 38 from Missouri Attorney General Joshua D. Hawley and signed by 23 other state attorneys general. Kessler cited a passage that stated, “Concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding members of society, and those States that allow for reciprocal concealed-carry permits have not encountered any significant safety issues.” However, other information in the letter and data and research on Right-to-Carry further refute Pelosi’s contention.

Elsewhere in the letter, Hawley, citing a law review article on the subject, explained, 

In Texas, for example, state data on permit holders shows that, compared to the general public, they are “ten times less likely to commit a crime, eleven times less likely to commit an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and seven times less likely to commit deadly conduct with a firearm.” 

A similar scenario has played out in Florida. As of June 30, 2017, there were 1,784,395 valid Concealed Weapon Licenses in the state. From July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, the state revoked or suspended 6,739 permits for any reason; a rate of 377.6 per 100,000. If limited to just license revocations, the rate is 83.6 per 100,000. FBI data shows that there were 726,396 arrests in Florida 2016, which is 3,524 arrests per 100,000 in population. Clearly, permit holders are far more law-abiding than the general public.

Moreover, violent crime has fallen by half since the early nineties, and at the same time, the popularity of Right-to-Carry has exploded. Since hitting an all-time high violent crime rate in 1991, 26 states have enacted “shall-issue” Right-to-Carry laws. In addition to this simple analysis, the vast majority of social science research on Right-to-Carry laws has found that these laws either have no effect on crime or have caused a modest decrease.

Throughout 2017 there has been mounting pressure among Democrats for Pelosi to relinquish her role as House minority leader. The concern is understandable. For years Pelosi has had poor favorability numbers, but now it appears she can’t even rely on the Democrat-friendly Post for fawning coverage. At least four times this year the Post has highlighted Pelosi’s lies about major legislation or the Trump administration. We’ll leave it to House Democrats whether they are comfortable being led by a politician who tells lies the left-wing media won’t even tolerate.

Military Funding Bill Establishes Mandatory Program to Sell Historic Pistols to the Public

Military Funding Bill Establishes Mandatory Program to Sell Historic Pistols to the Public

On Tuesday, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA). Included in the law is a provision long sought by collectors of vintage firearms and militaria that would require military surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols (1911s) to be made available for sale to the American public. The military currently has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense.

A previous version of the NDAA signed into law by then-President Obama in 2015 authorized, but did not require, the Secretary of Defense to transfer up to 10,000 surplus 1911s per year to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for sale to the public. Unsurprisingly, no such transfers were ever made while Obama remained in the White House.

The language in the 2018 NDAA effectively establishes a mandatory pilot program under which at least 8,000 – and as many as 10,000 –1911s would be transferred to the CMP for public sale in 2018. The Secretary of Defense must then report to Congress on the outcome of the program. Thereafter, the Secretary would be authorized to continue transferring up to 10,000 surplus 1911s a year to the CMP for further such sales. 

Despite the typical heated (and inaccurate) rhetoric from gun control advocates, the CMP pistols sales will utilize a variety of safeguards that exceed even the normal procedures the organization has used for years to distribute surplus military M1 Garands, M1 carbines, and .22 rimfire trainers. 

For example, the pistol sales may only occur through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the purchaser’s state of residence, who of course will be obligated to obey all state and local laws of the point of sale. Sales records allowing for the tracing of the firearms – should they later be found at a crime scene – will be kept both by the CMP and by the transferring FFL. Furthermore, the buyer must receive the pistol from the FFL in a face-to-face transaction at the FFL’s business premises. Pistols will not be provided directly to the buyers by the CMP. 

The CMP has further indicated two background checks will be conducted in connection with each sale, one by the CMP prior to shipping the pistol to the specified FFL and another by the FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business.  And while federal law allows an FFL to transfer a firearm three days after a “delay” response by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the CMP will only transfer the firearm to the FFL if NICS provides a “proceed” response to the first background check.  

Those wishing to acquire one of the surplus 1911s must be U.S. citizens, eligible to receive firearms under federal law and the laws of their places of residence, members of a CMP-affiliated club, and able to provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity. Only one 1911 will be available to each customer per calendar year. 

Once 10,000 orders are received, the CMP will assign a random number to each customer. These customers will be contacted in sequence with the grading and pricing options that are then available. 

No timeline for release or pricing information is currently available.

Nevertheless, this is another major victory for gun owners under the Trump administrations. The NRA in particular would like to thank Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their leadership in this historic effort.

Stayed tuned for further updates on the implementation of this program

Game Commission to meet Dec. 20 in Albuquerque

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Dan Williams: (505) 476-8004
dan.williams@state.nm.us

Game Commission to meet Dec. 20 in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Game Commission will meet Wednesday, Dec. 20, in Albuquerque to consider a rule that would allow the commission and the Department of Game and Fish director to determine whether waters on private land are non-navigable and closed to public access without written permission from the landowner.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North, 5151 San Francisco Road NE, in Albuquerque.

The commission also will hear a presentation of the final recovery plan for Mexican Wolves and potential implementation actions to occur in 2018. Public comments will be limited to 30 minutes.

The full agenda and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish website. Details of proposed rules and opportunities to comment about them also are available on the website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

The State Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Current members are Chairman Paul Kienzle, Vice-chairman Bill Montoya, Thomas “Dickie” Salopek, Robert Espinoza Sr., Ralph Ramos, Bob Ricklefs and Elizabeth Ryan.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the meeting, please contact Angelica Ruiz, (505) 476-8027. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible forms. Game Commission meetings are video recorded and can be seen at www.governor.state.nm.us.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes U.S. House of Representatives!

In a resounding show of support for the Second Amendment, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a legislative package that included H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, and H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017. The bipartisan vote of 231 to 198 advanced a measure that would allow law-abiding Americans who are eligible to carry a concealed handgun under the law of a state to do so in all other U.S. states and territories that recognize the right of their own residents to carry concealed. Without a doubt, this is the strongest piece of self-defense legislation to ever come before Congress. It would also help shore up the National Instant Criminal Background Check System used for licensing and retail firearm purchases by adding additional layers of transparency and accountability to the system.

With Wednesday’s vote, the U.S. Congress ratified the premise that firearms in the hands of law-abiding Americans are a force for good. This of course has been borne out again and again over the past three decades, as more and more Americans have embraced their right to bear arms for self-defense through concealed carry. The nation’s violent crime rate has fallen to historic lows during this time, and concealed carry licensees have proven themselves one of the most law-abiding populations in America. 

Today, all 50 states have laws under which residents may carry or apply to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia broadly recognize a right to do so. The remaining eight states, however, have laws that allow even the most qualified applicants to be denied a license unless they can show an extraordinary “reason” for having one.

This results in an arbitrary and unconstitutional system where people are denied their right to carry not because they’re a public safety risk but because licensing officials simply don’t believe that “ordinary” people should have the right. Meanwhile, favoritism and corruption are permitted to flourish, with licenses handed out to celebrities, rich political donors, and sometimes even applicants with disqualifying backgrounds who can afford to bribe the right people.  

H.R. 38 would end this two-tiered system and ensure that no upstanding American would be denied an effective means of self-defense while traveling from state to state. 

Needless to say, antigun forces will be marshalling an all-out effort to try to block concealed carry reciprocity in the Senate. The same people who insist that Congress has essentially unlimited authority to pass nationwide gun control that would undermine the pro-gun polices of most states are hypocritically citing “states’ rights” as a reason to oppose concealed carry reciprocity. 

Yet under H.R. 38, states would maintain complete control of the standards by which they issue their own concealed carry licenses. And property owners, whether public or private, would maintain discretion over the carrying of firearms on their own premises. The primary effect of the bill would be that a handful of anti-gun states could no longer arrest and prosecute travelers simply for crossing into their territory with an otherwise lawfully carried concealed handgun. Any criminal behavior committed with that firearm, of course, would still be subject to the full force of local law. 

Opponents of H.R. 38 argued against the bill by citing statistics concerning firearm-related crime and suicide. They did and could not, however, establish that lawful concealed carriers are the driving force of these incidents. Indeed, violent crime and criminals who recognize no restrictions on their own actions are the very reason law-abiding people wish to have their own means of self-protection. Concealed carry reciprocity simply helps even the playing field between law-abiding Americans and predatory criminals.

If the Senate is to send the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act to President Trump for his long-promised signature, American gun owners will have to make their voices heard as never before in the nation’s history. 

Wednesday’s vote was a huge step forward for the right of law-abiding Americans to carry a firearm for self-protection, but the fight is not over yet.