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March 10, 2019 -- A new law in New Mexico prohibits private guns sales without background checks. Bob can't sell his gun to Ralph without doing a prior background check on Ralph. The same applies to gun sales at gun shows. 

29 sheriffs in New Mexico oppose the law and 21 say they will not enforce it, declaring their counties 'sanctuary' jurisdictions for gun owners. That's most the state's 33 sheriffs. 

The anticipated outcome of the new law?

• The demand for illegal firearms will increase. The cost of purchasing an illegal firearm will increase. The trafficking of illegal firearms will increase. 

• The law will make criminals of those who, like Bob, simply want to sell their guns. 

• Fewer law-abiding individuals will possess firearms, creating a increase in vulnerability and, subsequently, crime. 

From ▼ Rachel Knapp and Jackie Kent

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed Senate Bill 8, which will now require background checks for guns sold privately and at gun shows.

However, the question remains: How will law enforcement know if buyers and sellers are even bothering to follow the law?

This law seems to heavily rely on the honor system. It will also rely on sheriffs enforcing a law they have come out against, which is something the governor addressed Friday. 

"Even the sheriffs who brought these resolutions know these men and women who dedicate their lives to law enforcement, they will follow the law. They will enforce this law, they will do their job and duty," Gov. Lujan Grisham said. 

Private gun sales will soon have to go through a federal firearms licensee to do a federal instant background check. However, law enforcement officials say it would have to be based on a type of honor system: hope people follow the law in the first place, then hope if a criminal is caught with a gun he fesses up as to who he got it from, and then of course, prove the seller ignored the background check law. 

As for pursuing those cases, Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage says they would much rather spend their time focusing on felony crimes. 

"So why would we even bother spending very scarce, very expensive man-hours on investigating a misdemeanor crime?" he said. 



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