A San Juan County Sheriff is reportedly investigating an anti-gun group for allegedly breaking a gun control law it helped pass.
Sheriff Shane Ferrari recently announced that he and his office would begin investigating the New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) after the gun control group allegedly went door-to-door offering gift cards for unwanted guns without permission. The organization claimed the buybacks do not meet the legal definition of a firearm transfer.
Ferrari’s investigation into NMPGV comes after the gun control group decided to hold a private buyback in Farmington, New Mexico, despite such a practice being declined by the City of Farmington because of public outcry. Considering that the group went forward with its plans, it may have violated a gun law it helped pass in 2019.
In 2019, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed legislation requiring a federal background check to be conducted on any firearm transfer or ownership. Those exempt from the law include law enforcement, valid federal firearms licensees and transfers between family members.
“Reviewing the law, I do not see where they are exempt from having to undergo a background check and are required to like anyone else,” Ferrari said on Facebook. “A sale is taking place (gift cards $100 and up), it is advertised as a purchase, and called a ‘buy back.’”
The gun control group was met with criticism after photos showed it dismantling firearms by sawing them in half.
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Military Arms condemned the group for allegedly breaking the law it helped pass.
“You exchanged an item with value (gift card) in exchange for the firearms without a background check which is illegal under NM state law. You’re out there advocating for antigun laws all the while you’re breaking antigun laws,” Military Arms wrote.
You exchanged an item with value (gift card) in exchange for the firearms without a background check which is illegal under NM state law. You're out there advocating for antigun laws all the while you're breaking antigun laws. You also didn't properly destroy the guns per ATF…
— Military Arms (@MAC_Arms) December 18, 2023
“The statute defines a ‘sale’ as ‘the delivery or passing of ownership, possession or control of a firearm for a fee or other consideration,’ where ‘consideration’ means ‘anything of value exchanged between the parties to a sale.’ A failure to comply is a crime,” New Mexico state Rep. Stefani Lord (R) wrote on X.
🚨The group, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (@NMPGVnow), runs gun buybacks across the state in which gift cards are reportedly offered for each gun turned in. It has also been active in pushing all kinds of gun control measures at the legislative level. One of its… https://t.co/wQVRIr4PeZ
— Rep Stefani Lord (@Lord4NM) December 20, 2023
“The very few exemptions include sales to a law enforcement agency; otherwise, each party to an unlawful sale in violation of § 30-7-7.1 ‘may be separately charged for the same sale,’” Lord added.