HOUSE BILL 9
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2022
Pamelya Herndon and Daniel A. Ivey-Soto and
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Debra M. Sariñana and
Patricia Roybal Caballero
RELATING TO CRIME; CREATING THE CRIME OF UNLAWFUL ACCESS TO A FIREARM BY A MINOR; IMPOSING PENALTIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Criminal Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] UNLAWFUL ACCESS TO A FIREARM BY A MINOR--PENALTIES.--
A. It is unlawful for a person who keeps or stores a firearm to do so in such manner that the firearm is accessed by a minor without the authorization of the minor's parent or guardian or when used in the commission of a crime.
B. When a firearm is accessed by a minor without the authorization of the minor's parent or guardian, the person who keeps or stores the firearm is subject to a penalty assessment of one thousand dollars ($1,000); provided that with regard to a residence, the person had no reasonable expectation based on objective facts and circumstances that a child was likely to be present where the firearm is kept or stored.
C. When a firearm is accessed by a minor and used in the commission of a crime, the person who keeps or stores the firearm commits unlawful access to a firearm by a minor and is guilty of a misdemeanor.
D. The penalty assessment may be enforced by citation written by a peace officer or by a parent or guardian of a minor as a civil fine filed in the magistrate or metropolitan court. The court shall credit against the penalty assessment or civil fine the cost of a device to securely store a firearm purchased by the person who keeps or stores the firearm.
E. When a firearm is accessed by a minor and used in the commission of a crime resulting in great bodily harm or death, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the concurrent prosecution of the person who keeps or stores the firearm for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, involuntary manslaughter or any other appropriate charge.
F. As used in this section:
(1) "firearm" means a weapon that expels or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion or the frame of any such weapon;
(2) "minor" means an unemancipated person under eighteen years of age;
(3) "person who keeps or stores the firearm" means the owner of the firearm or the person who possesses the firearm or is responsible for storing the firearm if the owner does not possess the firearm; provided that the minor did not access the firearm as a result of a burglary committed by the minor; and
(4) "securely store" means to keep in a safe, lock box, cabinet with a gun lock or container that uses a fingerprint sensor or other device, or a mechanism that restricts usage of or a container that restricts access to the firearm."
- 3 -