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New Mexico senator speaks on national gun reform legislation

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich spoke Monday on gun reform legislation that passed in the U.S. Senate in June.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act aims to protect children in school and reduce the threat of gun violence across the nation.

"This is some of the most powerful border security legislation that has been passed in many years, and we will now be able to go after some of this organized activity in a way that we weren't previously," said Senator Heinrich. "If you're selling guns to people who are criminals and shouldn't have those guns, that alone is going to be enough."

The act makes it illegal to traffic firearms out of the U.S. Previously, gun reform legislation focused on keeping illegal firearms from entering the U.S.

Senator Heinrich said that lawmakers now realize around 70 percent of firearms recovered from crimes committed south of the U.S.-Mexico border come from the U.S. These firearms are trafficked by individuals with no criminal background that sell them to criminals or criminal organizations.

Senator Heinrich said that the act will make communities both south and north of the border safer.

Other major changes include enhanced background checks for buyers between the ages on 18 and 21, substantial investment in mental health in schools and community-based outpatient clinics, and including offenders of domestic violence that are not married to their victims in criminal background checks.

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Kerry Mannix


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