Parents teaching kids how to shoot could become criminal with New Mexico bill

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A New Mexico Democratic state senator has introduced a bill that takes on gun ownership … via your own ability to educate your children.

The bill would criminalize the teaching of children to shoot firearms unless the child is deemed an “authorized user,” according to coverage by the Piñon Post, and specifies, “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.”

That is, it takes the rearing and education of a child out of the hands of their parents.

State Bill 224, pushed by Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, would make it:

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.

The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) sounded the alarm on the bill, warning that the “storage mandate” in the bill “would make it a crime for a child to handle your firearm unless the child was 12 or older and had previously completed a firearms safety class,” as the Piñon Post reported.

“You would become a criminal for taking your child to go shooting if they had not previously taken some kind of formal class,” NMSSA said. “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.”

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