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House to debate background checks

N.M. House expected to debate gun buyer criminal background checks today. (Journal File Photo)
N.M. House expected to debate gun buyer criminal background checks today. (Journal File Photo)
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SANTA FE (AP) — A criminal background check will be required for more people buying firearms at gun shows under legislation before New Mexico lawmakers.

The 70-member House is expected to consider a measure today requiring background checks for private sales of handguns, rifles and shotguns at gun shows.

Federal law requires background checks for sales by licensed dealers in stores or at gun shows. However, the law doesn’t cover private gun sales.

Democratic Rep. Miguel Garcia of Albuquerque, who’s sponsoring the legislation, contends that expanded background checks will help prevent sales of firearms to people prohibited from having them, including convicted felons and individuals with a history of mental illness.

Gun rights activists say the measure won’t stop criminals from acquiring firearms.

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