3d GLOCK magazines
Courtesy Ivan the Troll

A “ghost gun” bill in the New Mexico legislature that would make building your own firearms illegal has passed its first committee test over the objections of the vast majority of public commenters and even one state agency.

HB 166, introduced by State Representative Tara L. Lujan of Santa Fe, would have originally made the building of any gun or gun components a state felony unless the builder is a federally licensed dealer. The bill was so broadly written that it would have made even the assembly of a firearm a crime, even if the gun owner had purchased a receiver from an FFL. Even worse, it appeared to ban repairs and even cleaning guns without a federal license.

This is what happens when people who know nothing about firearms write gun control legislation.

At the last minute, however, Lujan put forward a substitute bill that she claims limits its scope to only receivers and reduces the penalty to a misdemeanor, but The Truth About Guns and the public was not given the text of the substitute bill at the time of the hearing or before this post was written.

For politicians and others new to firearms, receivers are usually the serialized part of a firearm that must be transferred via an FFL in New Mexico, as a law closing the alleged gun show loophole passed in 2019.

If the substitute bill does as Lujan promised, it would still prevent lawful home gunbuilding without the involvement of an FFL. For this reason, it was opposed by 80% of the people who attended the committee’s Zoom meeting, according to an in-app poll conducted by the committee’s chair.

Public comments opposing the bill ranged from concerns about infringement of First and Second Amendment protected rights to concerns that the legislation was unnecessarily divisive and would affect Democrats’ ability to pass other legislation during New Mexico’s legislative session. A common point brought up in public comments was that a ban on home-built firearms would be largely unenforceable, especially with 3D printing technology’s proliferation and increasing sophistication.

One of the objecting speakers was a representative from the Law Offices of the Public Defender, a state agency tasked with providing legal representation for defendants in New Mexico who can’t afford a lawyer. Their concerns were that the bill would criminalize behavior based on the past of a gun and not the intentions of the person owning or handling it, and that such a law would make for more expenses and problems in their office.

In support of the bill, Lujan had two “expert witnesses” and a couple dozen members of the public speak. Her first expert was a woman from…Moms Demand Action.

She told a story of unintentionally pointing a gun at her own head as a child, and some members of the public seemed to genuinely believe that a law could stop criminals from using a 3D printer to make a “ghost gun” at home.

Despite the significant opposition and the inability to explain how the bill’s provisions would make New Mexico safer, the three Democratic members of the committee voted to approve the bill. HB 166 will next be considered by the House Judiciary, Appropriations and Finance Committees.

Rep. Tara Lujan

It’s never wise to take a politician’s word for anything. Their promises are rarely worth the electrons they’re broadcast on. Since we still don’t have a copy of the revised bill, we can’t be certain that the revised bill doesn’t prohibit far more than Representative Lujan claims. Given the utterly reckless scope of her first version of the bill, caution is definitely advised.

 

If Lujan is correct and the scope of her bill has been reduced to cover only the serialized part of a firearm, this is still an egregious violation of constitutionally protected rights. Americans have been building their own firearms at home for hundreds of years, and the emergence of technologies that make that easier doesn’t justify changing that.

Perhaps most importantly, the bill would do nothing to improve public safety if it were to become law. A criminal isn’t going to stop building weapons just because the government (which they already ignore) prohibits it. The only people who would be affected are law-abiding citizens.

There are two kinds of laws: malum prohibitum (things that are bad only because the government says so) and malum in se (things that are bad because they are truly evil and harm others). The more malum prohibitum crimes there are on the books, the less respect people will have for the law.

The only thing that bad bills like HB 166 accomplish is erode government legitimacy in the eyes of good people. In the long run, that sort of erosion and rot can bring a society to collapse.

38 COMMENTS

      • Wow, did you ruin the site.

        The Home Page is especially awful.

        A couple of months ago over 90 percent of comments said keep the old site, but like politics in 2021 what the people think means nothing to the elitists that run things.

    • At this point, I’m convinced that those running TTAG are either trying to destroy the site or they’re taking advice from others who want to destroy the site. I can’t see any other logical path that would have taken us from the glory days of Farago shooting with John Hollister to the abysmal layout and incosistent writing of today. I would guess that I’ve been reading these types of comments for five years or more, but today is my day. I’ll check back in a year or so.

  1. Gonna have to make politicians understand that we won’t comply with unconstitutional laws, and they are trying to turn contributing, tax paying good citizens into criminals.

    Said citizens need to make it plain that if said legislation passes, being that its unconstitutional, to expect cituzens to out anyone who tries to enforce it under cituzens arrest for violation of rights and oppression under the color of authority.

    Govt of, by and for the people, not the scared or bad faith politician.

  2. Politian’s are giving voters things like, “free healthcare”. They give them “free medical marijuana”. They give them “free college tuition”. They support gay marriage and at the same time support paying a woman who has 5 kids from 5 different men, to not get married. They support “free” government funded abortions.

    Most voters do want the government in their bedroom and every room in the house. And then in every other room in private buildings.

    The government will even make sure to improve your sexual experience in your own home. Or out in public. You just have to give up making guns in your own home.

    You see. The government really can provide for you.

  3. This kind of legislation proceeds when people do not defend the 2A based on the fact that Gun Control in any shape or form is rooted in racism and genocide therefore Gun Control is a racist and nazi agenda. An agenda that is totally unacceptable in The United States of America.

    Saying this is what happens when Gun Control zealots write legislation is an obvious no brainer. Being silent instead of calling out an agenda rooted in racism and genocide gives it standing.
    Unless you fight fire with fire you are only peeing in the wind and holding the door open for more Gun Control.

    Gun Control Zealots will say and do anything to abolish the Second Amendment while history illiterate tounge tied Gun Owners sit there with the Truth About Gun Control in their arsenal and say nothing, NADA.

    If you want to win a fight cease shooting spitballs and let The Truth About Gun Control be known across America until Gun Control Zealots choke on it.

  4. So buying a Firearm like a Mossberg 590A1, followed by removing it’s Butt-Stock and replacing it with a different one, as well as swapping out the barrel for a different one would be illegal correct?………

    Ironically funny is that a majority of minorities attending the Zoom meeting were even more vocal in their opposition to this proposed bill…………..I thought Firearms Ownership was a genetic predisposition to Caucasians only according to Progressives………..

    • Guns have always been a part of New Mexican life for people of all colors. New Mexico’s voters tend to be Democrats, but they are more conservative than Democrats in other states. Traditional ways are important, especially when most families come from a small town somewhere a generation or two ago.

  5. “The only thing that bad bills like HB 166 accomplish is erode government legitimacy in the eyes of good people.”

    in the eyes of good people there is no way to restore the legitimacy of government.

    if we can make our own, why do we need to purchase through an ffl?

  6. When it comes to proposing, then passing, a law, knowledge of the subject matter is unnecessary as that is considered a malfunction of the process. Laws are not dependent upon effectiveness, but upon how many donors (and how much of their money) a law can attract, support, entice, please donors.

  7. “Despite the significant opposition and the inability to explain how the bill’s provisions would make New Mexico safer, the three Democratic members of the committee voted to approve the bill.”

    And this, in one succinct sentence, is why you should NEVER, not ever, under any circumstances, vote for a Democrat. EVER. Doesn’t matter what the Democrats say about themselves or what anyone else says about you. Don’t do it! Just say no.

    If you can’t make yourself vote Republican, fine (I’ve been there myself, as recently as November 2020). Vote for a third party in that case — or for no one. But for God’s sake, please…for America’s sake, too…if a (D) follows that name on the ballot, stay away. If you love liberty and your own free will, do not punch that ticket, fill in that oval, or check that box. Just don’t.

  8. I really want to try 3d Printing a frame. A long time ago I knew ProE and Autocad so maybe I could learn this as well. Seems interesting especially if you could tweak the design to fit you.

    Brave using Dark mode is fine, basically black and white. not hard on my tired eyes at all. Any time the font is too small just hold the control key and zoom. I don’t need to on TTAG, it’s about right size.

    Dark mode is less eye strain, I sit at a screen at least 6 hours a day doing my job and it helps.

    just my 0.02c

  9. “I really want to try 3d Printing a frame. ”

    Fully aware that comments are supposed to be related to guns. Guns are produced using 3D printing technology, but 3D printing is moving into a wholly different arena: food.
    https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/09/aleph-farms-3d-printed-steak-complex-emotional-sythetic-protein-foods-lab-bioprinting/

    I’m thinking Soylent. I’m thinking endless source of meat targets for ballistic testing.
    (See? Circled back to guns)

    • “Smart meats” will be their pathway to malum prohibitumize raising your own livestock.
      No animal flatulence to exacerbate the “climate crisis”.
      No cruelty because farms only enslave and abuse animals.
      Better nutrition because Progressives have “experts” to educate and direct you to the proper choice of soylentish products.
      And, to also circle back to guns, animals won’t have to be shot!
      That means you no longer neEeEed your 10yo daughter’s evil pink Crickett single shot assault rifle lurking around the house, waiting to activate since she grew up and went off to college.

  10. Politicians with a law never stop a bad guy with a gun.
    They merely control the good guys, which is their true agenda.

    I’ll still take my chances with the bad guys with guns over politicians with laws any day.

    One can shoot the bad guys. Politicians……not supposed to.

  11. “Can we have the old format back, pleeaaaaaaaaaase?”

    We were told (back when this format was originally sprung on us) that while the new format was put on hold, it would be back, permanently, within a few weeks. There were no assurances made that the re-launch would take into account any of our reader input (we are subscribers, not customers).

    • True. There are very good business reasons for the change, and it was never *not* going to happen. And despite that lack of assurances, much of what was complained about actually WAS fixed.

      The basic theme is the same, but the font has been improved, articles are better presented on the home page, and they are logically sorted (newest at the top, followed by a chronological list, followed by categories inside which articles are chronologically ordered).

      This is the internet. Things change. It’s okay. You’ll all be fine, people. Take a deep breath, reorient yourself, and keep reading.

  12. Wow! HB 166 ….. Even worse, it appeared to ban repairs and even cleaning guns without a federal license.
    who helped this person write such a bill.
    Can’t take it (firearm) apart and can’t put it back together. And, possession of parts is a felony? Hands up. You have any springs or retaining pins in your pocket? Going to jail sucker. Who elects these mental giants to office?

  13. Someone got sold a bill of goods on the website. It’s a good format for rapidly changing information, but this site ain’t it. I’ll get used to it, just like I did with the ex-wife.

  14. We need to get after the House Elections coming in 2022..we only need to flip 6 seats to the House! Republican women are winning races…look at Lauren Boebert who was a restaurant owner with no political experience and SHE WON!!

    https://boebert.house.gov/

  15. In Virginia we are fighting HB2276, which will ban any hone-built firearm manufactured after November 1968! It passed the Virginia House of Delegates and has been referred to the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee. There is no grandfather clause, and no exemption for NFA firearms, which are after all the poster children of gun control. If you live in Virginia, please contact the Judiciary Committee and your state Senator, and urge them them to kill HB2276.

  16. “The basic theme is the same, but the font has been improved, articles are better presented on the home page,…”

    Found out last night that there is a different experience when accessing the home page (which I have done about six times since 2013), and communicating via the email links.

    Using the email to reply to a comment, one is dumped into the middle of all the comments. Making a reply via the homepage display of comments, one is dropped to the comment box. Still don’t know who decided, when, that grey font is really cool.

  17. “That means you no longer neEeEed your 10yo daughter’s evil pink Crickett single shot assault rifle lurking around the house, waiting to activate since she grew up and went off to college.”

    Wow. I had only a superficial grasp of “smart meat”. Didn’t think of all those other features. Always something to learn, here. ‘Preciate it.

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