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Moms Demand Action to speak about gun control in LA Monday

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By Tris DeRoma

Voices for Los Alamos has invited members of gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to give a presentation Monday on the status of a gun bill sponsored by State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-NM). 

The bill died in the state Legislature last year. Moms Demand Action is a group associated with Everytown For Gun Safety, a national group that grew out of former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. 

Moms Demand Action member Stephanie Hainsfurther said they will also speak about the National Rifle Association’s alleged upcoming push for open carry on college campuses in New Mexico.

“Before they start that push in New Mexico, which we know is coming, we want some chapters on college campuses,” Hainsfurther said. 

The group already has talked to students, faculty and others at the University of New Mexico’s main campus in Albuquerque and has signed people up. 

The group will also talk about the Clovis Library shooting and how it relates to last year’s gun bill, which was written by Everytown for Gun Safety and later modified as it went through the legislative process. 

“They will hear about what the gun laws are in New Mexico now, and they will hear about why we didn’t get the background check law passed this time and why we won’t get one passed until 2019,” Hainsfurther said.

That discussion will include legislation that will stop unlicensed gun sales over the internet. 

“Here in New Mexico, we have about 800 federally licensed gun dealers and they are all required to run background checks before you buy a gun,” Hainsfurther said. “Here in New Mexico, you can get online find a local person who will sell you a gun who is unlicensed by the feds, and you can go and meet him as one of our moms did, in a dark parking lot with her teenage son in the car. You can give them cash and they’ll give you a gun, and they won’t even ask if you’re buying it for you or the teenaged kid in the car.” 

Gun owner and expert Khalil Spencer of Los Alamos said he understands what they’re trying to do, but thinks they’re going about it the wrong way. 

“Everytown likes gun control, that’s their bottom line,” Spencer said. “I think they’re assuming that this will make a difference. If you look at the actual science, you’ll find that mandatory background check bills actually don’t make a difference. The question I have is the people who are buying and selling guns already don’t care if we pass a mandatory background check.” 

Spencer, who worked with Garcia Richard to try and modify the bill, said there is a way to make the process less difficult and burdensome for all, and to minimize illegal sales.

“What I suggested… is we need to instill a philosophy that you do this for your own safety as well as the safety of your community, but you also have a mechanism in place so you don’t have to drive all the way down to Albuquerque or Santa Fe to do a background check,” Spencer said. “We have to make it easy. We have to provide a means to do that which is not onerous.”

 

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Unitarian Church, 1738 N Sage Loop, Los Alamos. Voices meets at the church on every last Monday of the month.