By Jeff Knox
(February 23, 2017) Mike Bloomberg and his various front groups spent over $250,000 on New Mexico legislative campaigns last November – more than any other special interest group. In comparison, the National Rifle Association spent about $10,000 in New Mexico. With Bloomberg’s help, Democrats increased their majority in the State Senate and took control of the State House. This prompted the Bloomberg subsidiary, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, to brag that a gun control majority would control the legislature this year, and they’re calling in their marker with their flagship legislation, a so-called “universal background check” bill.
As we have seen in several other states in recent years, the Bloomberg conglomerate, and their friends in the media, claims the bill closes a “dangerous loophole” in the state’s gun laws. With baited breath, gun control proponents decry the ability of convicted felons and other prohibited persons to “buy a gun, no questions asked” from “private dealers” at gun shows and over the internet. They also doggedly repeat the bogus claim that some 90% of citizens support these types of laws.
All of these claims are pure hogwash. Selling or transferring personal property without government interference is not a “loophole,” it is a basic right, and it is important to note that the bill being considered by the New Mexico legislature is not just about sales, not just about gun shows, and not about imaginary “internet gun sales.” The bill would require a licensed gun dealer to participate in every transfer of a firearm – even those that are temporary, and those between close friends and family members. Loaning a gun to a friend for a training class, a competition, or a hunting trip would require going to a dealer, paying a fee, filling out paperwork – which would be required to be maintained for decades – and submitting to a background check. This same, costly process would have to be repeated when a loaned gun, or one stored for a friend, is transferred back to its rightful owner.
Criminals rarely purchase guns through legal channels – either from a gun dealer or a private seller at a gun show or through a classified ad. Criminals virtually always acquire their guns via illegal means, either stealing them, buying them from someone else who stole or otherwise acquired them illegally, or having someone with a clean record buy them. This has been demonstrated with crime-gun traces, and polling of convicted criminals in prison. One of the primary reasons criminals don’t buy their guns from legal sellers, is that legal gun owners are overwhelmingly responsible, law-abiding citizens who would refuse to sell a gun to anyone they weren’t comfortable with, and usually require that a buyer at least provide their drivers license prior to agreeing to a sale. There is no such thing as an “internet gun sale.” All guns sales are required by federal law to be face-to-face transactions. The only way the internet might be involved is as an advertising venue, like classified ads in the newspaper.
As to the repeated claims that some 90% of citizens support the legislation, that’s demonstrably false. Similar legislation has been brought to voters in three states in recent years. In each case, proponents of the initiative outspent opponents by wide margins, flooding airwaves and mailboxes with misleading ads urging voters to approve the initiative. In spite of the disparity in spending – exceeding 8 to 1 in Washington State – the initiatives passed by narrow margins in two states, and failed in the other. Washington voters approved the measure by a margin of about 2%. Nevada passed it by less than one half of one percent, only acquiring a majority in one county. And Maine voters rejected the measure by a narrow margin. A lot of people support the idea of expanding background checks, but a very high percentage of those people don’t support the details of the Bloomberg-sponsored bills and initiatives. As with all legislation, the devil is in the details, and the details of Bloomberg’s proposal are a devilish mess. If 90% of the public supported the actual proposals – as opposed to the general concept of the proposals – they would win overwhelmingly in every state where they are introduced. The fact that they have not, proves that the 90% support statistic is a total fiction, based on manipulated polls.
The people of New Mexico have time to stop Bloomberg’s hostile takeover of their rights, but they must act fast. They must flood legislators’ offices with calls and emails urging them to reject the Bloomberg background check bill. At this point, the easy argument is that the bill goes too far. The Governor also needs to hear from constituents, calling on her to veto the bill if it makes it through the legislature. Again, the argument is that this is not the simple gun show bill she said she would sign last year. This bill is much more complex and far-reaching. She must not allow Mike Bloomberg to roll in from new York with his wads of cash and purchase rights from unsuspecting New Mexicans.
Mike Bloomberg believes he purchased the New Mexico State Legislature for the paltry sum of a quarter of a million dollars, but it is the people, not Bloomberg, to whom the politicians must answer, and it is the people who must rise up and demand that their rights be protected from the megalomaniacal, hoplophobic, New York billionaire.