Firearms & Freedom

Our Neighbors Have Constitutional Carry, New Mexico Should Too

Firearms Training at the Range – Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Look to the West, then look to the East. See those states over there? Our neighbors, Texas and Arizona, are both proud owners of constitutional carry laws.

What is constitutional carry? Why is New Mexico again lagging behind other states?

Constitutional carry laws give citizens the right to carry a loaded firearm on their person, either openly or concealed. There is no requirement for a license, permit, or other nonsensical government-issued piece of plastic.

Does this remind anyone else of a certain document? Maybe the United States Constitution and the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights?

NEW MEXICO: LAST AGAIN?

On July 29, 2010, Arizona established their Constitutional Carry law. The law allows any citizen who can legally own/purchase a firearm and is 21 years or older to carry it loaded and concealed on their person without any type of permit or license.  Previous to this law, Arizona had similar requirements to New Mexico.

On May 24, 2021, the State Senate of Texas passed Constitutional Carry and sent it to the Governor’s desk. Texas Governor Gregg Abbot has stated that he will sign the gun legislation. Again, this law allows any citizen who is not otherwise barred by the state or federal government from possessing a firearm, to carry openly or concealed without a license or permit of any kind. 

Does New Mexico have any chance of getting Constitutional Carry? The simple answer is no. Democrat politicians control all parts of the New Mexican government, and if the June 01, 2021 special election for Congressional District 1 showed anything, not enough voters are ready to make the change to pro-American (conservative) politics. 

UNDERSTANDING NM LAWS

New Mexico is still an “Open Carry” state. This means a person who is not otherwise barred from possessing a firearm, and has a New Mexico ID, can carry a firearm openly without any further licensing or permit requirements.

New Mexicans can also apply for a concealed carry permit, or CCP. This process requires fingerprints, applications, and training, all of which cost money. (According to democratic talking points, requiring an ID would make this process racist.) 

The important thing to note here is that the person must not be barred from possessing a firearm. To pass a background check, a prospective gun owner cannot:

  • have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for over a year; 
  • be a fugitive from justice;
  • illegally abuse controlled substances;
  • have been adjudicated as mentally defective of incompetent, or have been committed to a mental institution;
  • be an illegal alien;
  • be a former U.S. citizen who has renounced their citizenship;
  • have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military;
  • be subject to a restraining order; or
  • have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence

UNJUST FEARS

What is the danger of New Mexicans having their right to carry without permission from the government restored? Wait, what do you mean “restored”? The right to carry a firearm was given to American citizens by their Creator and is still protected under the Second Amendment. 

Gun laws exist is because of fear. There is a stated fear that increased rights to carry firearms will lead to additional gun crimes. Let’s break that down.

From what has been learned so far, Constitutional Carry does not apply to criminals. Whether a state has the right to carry will not change the fact that criminals are ineligible to carry. 

Similarly, merely having the right to carry does not mean that laws regarding brandishing or shooting in public no longer apply.

There are also fears that Constitutional Carry removes the requirement for citizens to attend firearms training. There is no requirement currently for anyone who open carries a firearm to take firearms training. As for serious concealed carriers, they will either seek training out or train themselves. It takes a great deal of responsibility to carry a firearm every day. Those who are less responsible are not going to have the dedication to carry a firearm in public.  

New Mexico is meant to be the middle of a Freedom Sandwich between Texas and Arizona. Until we start getting the same rights as other Americans, the screeching bald eagle is going to continue to fly around us.

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