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Senate Panel OKs Gun Buyer Background Checks

Steve Carr
Creative Commons

A proposal to require criminal background checks of more people who buy firearms at gun shows in New Mexico is heading to the Senate with little time left in the legislative session.

The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed the legislation late Wednesday night on a party-line vote with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed.

The bill would require criminal background checks for private sales of firearms at a gun show. Federal law requires checks for people buying firearms from licensed dealers in their stores or at gun shows, but it doesn't cover private sellers of guns.

Opponents contend that background checks won't stop shootings and killings but supporters say the legislation is a step toward reducing gun violence.

It's uncertain when a Senate vote might happen, but the Legislature adjourns Saturday.