I was kind of afraid that something like this would happen when Arizona passed Constitutional carry and kind of put Arizona DPS instructor certification out of the picture. Arizona DPS required live firing for a CCW. It's no longer required. Even though it was kind of a simple test on a B-27 silhouette target at 2 distances, I felt kind of good that I shot 100 with my 1911. I was 70 when I did that 5 years ago so I guess that I still shoot at least fair-to-middlin.
For New Mexico to recognize another state’s concealed carry permit or license, NMSA 1978 29-19-12 requires the other state’s permit to:
(1) includes provisions at least as stringent as or substantially similar to the Concealed Handgun Carry Act;
(2) issues a license or permit with an expiration date printed on the license or permit;
(3) is available to verify the license or permit status for law enforcement purposes within three business days of a request for verification;
(4) has disqualification, suspension and revocation requirements for a concealed handgun license or permit; and
(5) requires that an applicant for a concealed handgun license or permit:
(a) submit to a national criminal history record check;
(b) not be prohibited from possessing firearms pursuant to federal or state law; and
(c) satisfactorily complete a firearms safety program that covers deadly force issues, weapons care and maintenance, safe handling and storage of firearms and marksmanship.
Previously, DPS has interpreted this statute’s “substantially similar” requirement somewhat broadly, allowing for recognition of permits and licenses from dozens of other states, many of which returned the favor and recognized the New Mexico CHL.
Unfortunately, recently DPS announced that they are changing what they consider to be substantially similar, creating a six-point disqualification checklist, moving away from “substantially similar” and more toward “identical”:
Permits issued locally rather than by the state;
No fingerprint-based background check;
Permits issued to persons under 21 years of age;
Permits issued to resident aliens;
No classroom (static) training required;
No live-fire (dynamic) training required.
The final determination of which states would be dropped was quietly announced on the DPS Concealed Carry Reciprocity page on a Friday night when nobody was looking (and when the office wouldn’t be open for a couple of days).
Unfortunately, all but Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Oklahoma are disqualified by this change. This leaves residents of all neighboring states but Oklahoma without any way of legally carrying a concealed, loaded weapon in New Mexico, as New Mexico does not issue licenses to non-residents and of the remaining recognized states only North Dakota issues non-resident permits and requires that all applications be submitted in person in North Dakota.
This will also likely result in lost recognition of the NM permit in the coming weeks in most other states, meaning that both residents and non-residents will be equally hurt by this change.
What Can You Do?
First, contact Governor Martinez’s office first thing on Monday morning. Her phone number is 505-476-2200. Let her staff know that this ABSOLUTELY WILL be an important election issue, and that if she doesn’t rein in DPS (and make appropriate personnel changes to prevent a recurrence of this issue), there will be a strong primary challenge against her.
Second, let her know that this is an important issue for DPS. If DPS/SID chooses to go this route they will get ZERO support from the citizens of the state and can expect multiple lawsuits on the issue, at great expense to the state. Also, DPS employees may be subject to criminal complaints at the state and federal level for violating rights under color of law.
Third, contact DPS secretary Gordon Eden at (505) 827-9000 and let him know about the items mentioned in the above paragraph.
Fourth, if you live in New Mexico, contact your local State Police and Motor Transportation Division district offices and let them know that this move by DPS stinks, and that they will have ZERO support from gun owners in their district until DPS does right by the citizenry and the law. Encourage State Police and MTD to open their own investigations into the matter.
It might also be a good idea to contact your local county Sheriff’s office and ask them to investigate, especially if your local Sheriff is friendly to concealed carry.
Fifth, if you are a resident of an affected state, contact your local permit issuing authority and let them know about this change so they can pressure New Mexico to do the right thing.
Finally, check back on this page or subscribe to e-mail updates for more information as it becomes available. If this situation isn’t taken care of in a timely manner, further action and protests will be undertaken. We will also be pushing for appropriate legislative changes for next session to prevent this sort of problem in the future.
Notice: New Mexico has stopped honoring 13 other states Permit/Licenses in the last Couple weeks. Many of those states will stop honoring a New Mexico Permit/License. If you are a New Mexico Permit holder Handgunlaw.us advises you to call ahead to make sure your New Mexico Permit is honored. Below is the list of states that New Mexico DPS is reporting they will honor.
Missouri Nebraska North Carolina North Dakota Oklahoma