UPDATE on March 14, 2023, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act which has taken effect in the summer of 2023. Now parents will be held responsible for allowing their children to access and use firearms in crimes.
What is it:
A proposed law that makes gun owners accountable if they do not store their firearms safely, particularly out of the reach of minors. The law will impose penalties that range from a misdemeanor to a felony when the firearm is not stored properly and is used to commit a crime.
Why is it necessary:
Historically, gun owners that willingly or recklessly fail to securely store firearms are not held liable for their actions resulting in catastrophic incidents like the one that caused the death of Bennie Hargrove.
What if my gun is stolen:
This law does not punish gun owners if their firearm is stolen or taken from a locked contained, without the permission of the gun owner.
Example of acts in violation of the proposed law:
Owner of a firearm recklessly leaves firearm in a location that is easily accessible by a minor and the minor uses the firearm to harm students, teachers, or others. (This is what happened to Bennie Hargrove!)
Who is Bennie Hargrove:
Bennie was a courageous 8th grader who stood up to another 8th grader that had been beating up small and defenseless 6th graders. After protecting the 6th graders, the Bully was upset and decided to bring a gun to school to kill Bennie. Bennie was shot and killed at Washington Middle School on August 13, 2021 during recess by the Bully in front of other students, police officers, and his principal.
The Bully received his firearm from his father who had previously used a gun to shoot other parents on APS property, but had not been convicted. The Bully's parents were known to provide the gun to their son, whose friends in school have stated that he brought it to school regularly. The Bully's parents have not been charged with any crime because the District Attorney claims that no New Mexico law exists stopping parents from providing their children guns to use in crimes!