New Law Would Criminalize Parents Teaching Their Children How to Shoot Guns

Senate Bill 224, introduced by New Mexico state senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez would make it a crime for parents to teach their kids to shoot firearms under 12. This is a personal problem for me since I bought my daughter a 350 legend for her 10th birthday just two months ago.

The bill starts by making it illegal to have a firearm that is not locked up. It then makes it a crime for your child to handle the gun unless your child is over 12 and has completed a firearm safety course.

The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) came out against this bill by saying, “You would become a criminal for taking your child to go shooting if they had not previously taken some kind of formal class. The bill is an uneducated attempt to demonize firearms … It is already a crime to place a child in a situation that endangers their life, this law does nothing to add to a child’s safety.”

Below is the most controversial part of the bill.

It is an offense for a firearm owner or authorized user to store or keep a firearm in any premises unless the firearm is secured in a locked container or secured by a gun lock or other means so as to render the firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the owner or other authorized user.

If a firearm owner or authorized user knows or reasonably should have known that a minor, an at-risk person or a prohibited person could gain access to a firearm belonging to or under the control of that owner or authorized person, and if a minor, an at-risk person or a prohibited person obtained access to that firearm, it is an offense if the firearm owner or authorized user failed to secure the firearm in a locked container or by a lock or other means so as to render such firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the firearm owner or other authorized user.

A minor may be an authorized user only if the minor is at least twelve years of age and has successfully completed a firearm safety training course.