Pictured are unwanted firearms from one household in Farmington, NM. Our gun buyback was cancelled by the City, but local residents asked us to show up anyway. So, we spent today dismantling guns house by house. #GunsToGardens @vivarioarriba pic.twitter.com/YlgwT9qaxV
— NMPGV (@NMPGVnow) December 17, 2023
The city of Farmington, New Mexico recently decided they weren’t going to waste time with another useless gun “buyback” event. Word seems to be getting out that they don’t work, and it’s becoming clear that they’re a total waste of public resources and money. But one of the organizers wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, they decided to go do a “buyback” themselves.
Blissfully unaware of state law, a gun control advocacy operation called New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence visited the homes of some people who wanted to get rid of a firearm and trade it for a gift card. Then, right there on site, they used an angle grinder to cut the gun’s receiver in half.
Once that was done, they took the two pieces to a local high school. The parts were then given to young gun control activists, who used the bits of wood and metal to build anti-gun “works of art.”
— NM Shooting Sports Association (@NM_SSA) December 17, 2023
There’s just one problem with all of that. A few years ago, the group helped pass a law in New Mexico prohibiting private firearm transfers. Worse, the group’s destruction of receivers don’t comply with ATF guidelines for rendering them permanently inoperable. So, when they took these guns (which were still legally guns) onto school grounds and transferred them to minors, they broke all kinds of laws — laws NMPGV itself supports — including state and federal felonies.
As a result, the local Sheriff has announced that he is investigating them. Strangely, NMPGV doesn’t think that’s fair at all.
“We have been doing this for years,” the organization wrote on social media. “Often, police give people our phone number when they want to turn in an unwanted firearm. This doesn’t violate any background check laws as there is no transfer of firearms. We simply dismantle them. All that is left is wood and metal.”
We have been doing this for years. Often, police give people our phone number when they want to turn in an unwanted firearm. This doesn’t violate any background check laws as there is no transfer of firearms. We simply dismantle them. All that is left is wood and metal. https://t.co/f8ZPpJjC4j
— NMPGV (@NMPGVnow) December 17, 2023
The local sheriff, however, isn’t convinced.
“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,” San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari wrote in a Facebook post. “A sale is taking place (gift cards $100 and up), it is advertised as a purchase and called a ‘buy back.’ ” He went on to explain that the law prohibits all transfers, and that the gift cards were definitely “consideration” under state law, triggering the prohibition.
The sheriff, however, is awaiting an opinion about the entire kerfuffle from the state’s attorney general. The AG is a Democrat who previously refused to assist in the enforcement of the governor’s bogus, unconstitutional “public health” order banning the carry of firearms in Bernalillo County where the state’s largest city, Albuquerque, is located. It’s possible the DA may decide to give the gun control group a pass.
If he does, it would create a two-tiered system of laws in New Mexico. Gun control groups should be subject to the same laws they want the rest of the state’s residents to be subject to. Laws they helped pass. Anything less than charges and a trial for the members of the NMPGV who participated in this boondoggle would be an affront to the cause of justice in the state.