In all, over 100 people were at the rally.
A similar so-called "gun-show loophole" bill came close to passing last year, but was hung up in a Senate committee until the fi nal evening of the session and ultimately ran out of time before the end of the session the next day at noon.
In a short session, Gov. Susana Martinez can decide what legislation -- outside of bills related to the budget, constitutional amendments and memorials -- is germane for lawmakers. She can do this at any time and, actually, scaled back items on her agenda last year.
Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, pre-filed the legislation but is waiting to see if Martinez will put the bill on the call. If not, it will not be heard in any committee.
Martinez backed the legislation last year, and it had bipartisan support with House Minority Whip Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, doing significant work on the bill to add the mental health provisions to the legislation that likely allowed it to pass the House. In all, eight Republicans voted for the bill while three Democrats voted against it.
Santa Fe officials asked for the governor to put the legislation on the call.
"It is time to consider common-sense gun reforms and pass stronger gun laws in New Mexico," said Mayor David Coss ahead of the rally. "By taking the first step and requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, we can make it difficult for felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill to get their hands on guns."
Conservative groups have mobilized against the bill and have initiated petitions asking Martinez not to put the bill on the call.
This includes the powerful National Rifle Association, which said it is a step on the way to magazine limits and an assault rifle ban.
Martinez sent a number of messages to the House and Senate today but Garcia's bill was not one of them.
Enrique Knell, a spokesman for Martinez, said no decision has been made yet.
"As the Governor expressed yesterday, she wants to place a strong focus on creating a diverse economy and reforming education," Knell wrote in an email. "As such, she is meeting with legislative leaders - on both sides and from both parties - to discuss various other issues, including this one, to get feedback."