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Gun background check bill finally headed to Gov’s desk

SANTA FE — A bill that would expand New Mexico background check requirements to nearly all gun sales is headed to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk for final approval.

It just took a few days longer than expected.

The state Senate today voted to sign off on House changes to the legislation, Senate Bill 8, that stem from a clerical error in a committee document.

Instead of trying to expunge the committee report, top lawmakers decided to send the legislation back to the Senate. And senators voted without debate to concur with the House changes — though several Republican senators cast vociferous “no” votes.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who took office in January, supports the legislation and has indicated she will sign it once it arrives on her desk.

The measure is one of several gun-related bills that have stirred opposition among rural New Mexicans and all but a few of the state’s 33 county sheriffs. But supporters, including the Albuquerque Police Department, say the proposal could help keep firearms out of the hands of individuals with criminal records.

After receiving the bill, Lujan Grisham will have three days to act on it. If no action is taken during that time period, the bill would automatically become law.

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