January 24, 2013

While a 15-year-old New Mexico boy faces charges of murdering five family members with his father’s gun, state lawmakers are weighing two measures that show just how divided the state is on firearms.

One measure would require background checks for all gun sales, while another would allow concealed weapons to be carried into bars and restaurants. And lawmakers on both sides of the issue say they will not be swayed by the alleged actions of Nehemiah Griego, who is accused of killing his mother, father and three siblings on Jan. 19 in their Albuquerque home. Former state Sen. Eric Griego, the boy’s uncle, said he and his murdered brother disagreed about gun control. But he said the shootings are not part of the legislative debate.

“To be clear, our family has differing views on gun rights and gun control,” Eric Griego said in a statement. “What we do agree on is that those who wish to score political points should not use a confused, misguided 15-year old boy to make their case.”

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