Gunsite Academy Training Class
Courtesy Kat Ainsworth

A recent headline at The Gun Feed caught my eye.

NM bill would allow firearms instructors to be charged with a felony if student later commits a crime…

A bill sponsored by Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Bernalillo) proposes changes to the state’s definitions of what “domestic terrorism” is. A concerning section of the legislation appears to say any firearms teacher may be charged with a third-degree felony if someone they taught may at any time use the weapon for the bill’s definition of “terrorism.”

Not quite. House Bill 70 says something a little different than how that article characterized it.

A. Any person who teaches or demonstrates the use, application or making of any firearm, destructive device or technique capable of causing injury or death to any person with the intent that the knowledge or skill taught, demonstrated or gained be unlawfully used to commit terrorism as defined in Subsection C of this section in furtherance of a civil disorder is guilty of a [fourth] third degree felony

Intent matters. Mens rea and all that. An instructor who had a student in a regular class, who turns out to be a bad guy later, obviously didn’t have intent to aid a criminal.

On the other hand, if someone called an instructor and said, “Good day. I’m the commander of The Lujan Grisham Must Hang Militia, and I’d like to book you for a weekend of tactical training for our organization,” and then they attack the Governor, the instructor might share some liability.

But then, he’d probably be liable even without this particular bill simply as an accessory to the crime. That’s because all this bill would really do is boost the penalty from a fourth degree felony to a third degree felony.

Of more significance is that this bill defines, at the state level, terrorism as a specific crime. It largely matches existing federal definitions.

The most important new provision is this:

C. act as liaison between federal, state and local agencies to effect the improved sharing of counterterrorism intelligence, including maintaining the New Mexico all source intelligence center, which is a cross-jurisdictional partnership between local, state and federal agencies to support the development of plans, policies and procedures that protect the state from border, criminal and terrorist threats;

Yet another interjurisdictional task force to surveil the populace. I’m sure some like Governor Lujan Grisham would never abuse that.

53 COMMENTS

  1. “Intent matters. Mens rea and all that. An instructor who had a student in a regular class, who turns out to be a bad guy later, obviously didn’t have intent to aid a criminal.”

    So the innocent instructor gets charged, spends every dollar on the legal defense of the case, and eventually might be acquitted by twelve people who were too stupid to get out of jury duty.

    No thanks. This bill is a death trap, mens rea or not.

    • Seriously. I knew my time as a public instructor was coming to an end, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so soon. But yeah, screw that.

      Last year I was just a firearms instructor, teaching people how to be safe, how to practice, how to think about personal defense. Last week the media told me that I was a militia recruiter and teaching insurrectionists the art of domestic terrorism. Now I have the responsibility to defend myself in court because some guy who paid the $35 for a 4 hour safety seminar and got to shoot six whole rounds into a paper plate decides to make an angry twitter post?

      I can read the writing on the blood stained and bullet-pocked wall. I’m out.

      • And so it begins, conservatives giving in to the leftist assholes because…reasons…. you never win if you always give up.

      • FTA: “But then, he’d probably be liable even without this particular bill simply as an accessory to the crime. That’s because all this bill would really do is boost the penalty from a fourth degree felony to a third degree felony.”

        Accessory before the fact is a real thing.

      • Someone please tell those idiotic dirty diaper gun control democRats they are supposed to leave it for the potty to swallow and not use it for show and tell.

    • Yep. Get stopped while carrying, or, heaven forbid, use your firearm in self defense while carrying or at home, and you will be charged with terrorism and need to prove your innocence, especially if the perp is of a protected class.

      It’s coming.

      • Be a white male and own a gun, and you may have to prove your innocence in court or be imprisoned. This is not political rhetoric. This has already happened. The likelihood will just be increasing now.

  2. A little here, a little there, that’s how they do it! A few more dems in office and they wont even have to do it like that!!

  3. Reminds me of a time in the late 70s, or early 80s, when a new classified materials rule was implemented, and everyone with Confidential, or higher clearance was required to sign a certificate that, in part, declared that a person was in violation of the the regulation for publishing anything that was currently, or could, in the future, become classified.

    The penalty for not signing the declaration was removal of all levels of clearance, and inability to receive a security clearance in the future (essentially the end of a career). Cooler heads prevailed some months later, and the certification requirement was removed. There was a cloud over the disposition of certificates that had already been signed. Were those held to be valid, or not? I never found out.

  4. It’s enough to sue and or charge the instructor and put him into bankruptcy and put several out of business.

  5. “…A. Any person who teaches or demonstrates the use, application or making of any firearm, destructive device or technique capable ….”

    Technique? So we’re talking every guy who teaches the 8-11 year old’s Karate class right?

    • Anyone who teaches a kid proper knife handling, school wrestling, how to swing a baseball bat and the list goes on.
      It’s all interpretations of a vague law by liberal judges who allow prosecutors to determine who’s left enough or too right

  6. Please! Don’t ever discount the ability of a rogue DA to screw you over!
    Words mean stuff! Even when they don’t a prick DA can spin them.

  7. I offer for everyone’s consideration:

    Continue to be kind, decent, productive, fair, and just people — even after local, state, and/or federal entities tell you otherwise.

  8. Lol, every day they are trying to incite violence and start a war by insults and ridiculous laws. While none of this is Constitutional, the real play on this is to push real Americans to the limit. In essence they want a war. That is fine with us. Come and get them Biden. Bring BLM Harris along with you. Better yet, send Hocman. And if you want us to really be happy, put a cherry on top and bring along Don Lemon. Make our day!

    • Earnie Bass,

      … the real play on this is to push real Americans to the limit. In essence they want a war.

      I am having a really hard time coming to any other conclusion.

      For the longest time, I was trying to figure out how the ruling class would significantly increase their money and power if such an internal war occurred — and kept coming up blank. (Yes, I have heard popular claims of how the ruling class increases money/power in wartime — and I do not see those holding water when you take the deep dive and seriously ponder the outcome of such an internal war.)

      I am seriously starting to wonder, at this point, if the ruling class are the equivalent of arsonists who, quite simply, just want to watch society “burn”.

      • Read some Roman history from the just before the Pax Romana. Or just Egyptian history. Or some Arab history.

        Civil wars are massively profitable in both money and raw power, if you win them.

        • strych9,

          I fully agree that the ruling class figures they will profit handsomely if they start and win an internal war. What I doubt is that the ruling class thinks they can actually win.

        • ” What I doubt is that the ruling class thinks they can actually win ”

          The ruling class has been winning for so long that the idea of losing doesn’t even enter their minds. They just take winning as a given.

          At this point I think the elite’s strategy might be simply to thin the herd. We’ve essentially got 20% of the workforce maintaining the economy. This would include the 1% at the top plus the technical/professional class that supports what they do. The other 80% is, in the neoliberal scheme of things, pure dead-weight liability. (In the neoliberal scheme, work is only productive if it increases capital. Everything else, by definition, is non-productive, i.e., a liability, not an asset.) The 1% knows this is not sustainable.

          I’m not putting out a conspiracy theory here, because I doubt they planned all this. But with COVID (heard about all the rich and famous dying lately?), social and political fragmentation (and ultimately internecine warfare), climate change (food shortages and famines) etc etc comes an opportunity to significantly reduce the numbers of that non-productive (i.e., parasitic) 80%. They didn’t plan on it, but they see the opportunity and they are doing nothing to correct it — why spend money to correct a situation that is seen as ultimately beneficial? And all the while they firmly believe that their money and privileged positions will protect them from all the unpleasantness. And they might be right.

        • The ruling class wins when it can fight the war by proxy. When they are the ones being fired on, they don’t win.

        • I think UpInArms has some valid points.

          I would however response to both Uncommon and Ralph by pointing out something;

          No one’s fighting the “elites”. This situation isn’t “us vs. them”. It’s “us vs. us” along stupid tribalistic lines.

          No reason for “the Ruling Class/TPTB” to worry about the “plebs” when they can easily set the “plebs” against each other. And there’s no need to even bother setting them against one another at this point because the plebs have done it themselves, with a goodly number actually believing that TPTB are on their side.

  9. There appears to be no useful purpose for this proposed law. Seems like an attempt to make gun safety (proper training) less available by intimidating trainers. An encroachment, an infringement, creating a threat by passing a law that prosecutors can abuse.

    This is hateful.

    • Define “useful”.

      And consider than NM has actually had some interesting issues with both Muslims and the cartels in the past decade, which could be the intended target of this.

      I don’t pay that close of attention to NM as I did when I lived there but it’s a kinda crazy state in a lot of ways, from drunk driving to drug running to government installations it’s an interesting place. Damned pretty country too in a lot of regards.

    • Thats what it is . Can’t get a permit without training, can’t get trained without a long wait and big $$$ they win.

  10. The firearms instructor is teaching firearms, not morals, ethics or the difference between right & wrong. Can Harvard be sued when a former medical student, now doctor, commits malpractice?

  11. I can’t believe there are folks here arguing fine points of the legal definition for “intent” or how the rule of law applies to that definition. If you think for a second that the author of this proposed tyrannical legislation made some sort of error or mistake when drafting the text of HB 70, you’re clueless. The radical leftist author(s) carefully crafted the ambiguous language used in the legislation hoping gullible legislators will vote it into law and that constituents won’t perceive the true “intent” of HB 70 until it’s too late. HB 70 obviously targets NRA, LE, CHL, or any other firearms instructor for the express purpose of eliminating any type of firearm training no matter the “intent”. Legal definitions and precedents mean what ever liberal prosecutors and courts want them to mean when radical leftists control all of government.

  12. So…. James Fields deliberately drove his car into the crowd in the protest in Charlottesville VA in August 2017, killing one and injuring 19. According to New Mexico’s thinking, I guess his driving instructor should be charged in his crime, too. Along with the dealership who originally sold the car he used, the salesman who sold it, etc., etc.

    • James Fields was being chased by a mob of crazed Antifa/BLM with loaded AR15s, one of whom named Dwayne Dixon a member of Redneck Revolt (Antifa chapter) is still an anthro professor at a UNC university.

      Fields panicked trying to escape and rear ended a stopped car where a mob of Antifa/BLM were unlawfully blocking the streets (streets are for vehicles), whereupon one of the Antifa/BLM mob, a black clad morbidly obese heavy smoker named Heather Heyer had a heart attack in the hot summer sun (his car never touched her not even a little bit.)

      James Fields was sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. A good lawyer would have got him no more than 5 years in any other scenario outside of Charlottesville.

      Its all on video, but your left wing re hash of CNN talking points seems to have become the nu reality.

      • What???? Your description of the incident defies the reality. Fields was convicted of first degree murder. Yes it is all on video. Look at them again. You can clearly see one person flying through the air after Fields’ car struck him. Left wing re-hash of CNN talking points? What are you talking about?

        But that is entirely beside the point of this discussion. . Even if your interpretation of this incident is correct, and it’s not, should the person who taught him to drive be convicted because he taught him to drive? As New Mexico is trying to do with firearms instructors?

  13. In that vein, could I then pass responsibility for my traffic accident off onto my Driver’s Ed teacher from 1978? He’s in his 90s now, but I’m sure he’d still be accountable for either my mischievous or careless actions. Right? Seems only logical.

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