During the 2009 Regular Session, the House approvedlegislation similar to SB 40 – HB 105 by Rep. Heaton – on a 49-13 vote. That measure failed to receive final consideration in a Senate Committee. The Senate companion to that bill, SB 608 introduced by Sen Munoz, was approved by the Senate and two House committees, but failed to be voted on by the full House before the Legislature adjourned sine die.
Both the 2009 measures aimed to repeal the ban on carrying firearms by concealed handgun licensees in restaurants serving alcohol, but the approaches varied, from targeting all licensed liquor establishments to focusing only on those with a larger percentage of food sales. Questions raised during committee hearings on the bills included how to distinguish between full dispenser licensees who are treated the same under licensing laws, but who operate much differently (restaurants serving liquor that make more money from food sales, versus bars or nightclubs). There were also concerns about imposing additional audit requirements on the Regulation & Licensing Department to determine the portion of gross receipts derived from food or alcohol sales. To address these issues, the bills were amended several times during the legislative process. SB 40 is the final result of those amendments from the 2009 session, simply re-introduced in 2010. We feel we have the best chance of getting the bill passed by not making any changes from what already passed the committees in 2009. I just got off the phone with Sen. Munoz and we DO still face a challange in the Senate Judiciary committee. Last year we squeaked through by a 5-4 vote because there were 2 committee members not present to vote. Attempting to make any changes at all could be the end of this bill.
In the state of New Mexico, there are 800 full alcohol licensees and 593 beer and wine licensees. Firearms legislation is difficult to pass in New Mexico. If we can pass SB 40 and get it signed into law, if there are no issues once that law becomes effective July 1st 2010, perhaps we can address extending the same privilege to full alcohol licensees in the future. Often we have to take small steps at a time to achieve our goals.
Thanks for your interest.One last note: if you would like to find out just how many beer and wine licensees there are in your area, go to : http://126.96.36.199/MyLicenseVerific...spx?facility=Y Under the Profession drop-down select Liquor Control. Under the License Type drop-down select Restaurant. Under the LicenseStatus drop-down select Active. On the right, enter your city and click on search.