ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a constitutional right to carry a firearm. Now, one New Mexico state lawmaker wants to make it easier for people to exercise that right.
“It would allow anyone who would be legally entitled to own firearms and carry firearms to do so without having a concealed carry permit,” explained Republican State Senator Steve Neville of San Juan County.
Senator Neville wants to introduce a bill based on the constitutional carry concept.
“We’re extending the right to keep and bear arms without any procedural requirements to do so,” he said.
Yet, you could still take a training course and you would have to, if you ever wanted to conceal carry your gun out of state.
“The training’s very minimal anyway,” said Neville.
Caliber’s COO and Franchising President Will Hogsett says New Mexico’s concealed carry training consists of 15 hours of class time, plus shooting qualification.
“It’s actually one of the most stringent in the country,” Hogsett said.
Hogsett says they’re all for second amendment rights, but only with required education.
“This just takes the education piece out of it,” said Hogsett. “That’s frustrating.”
Hogsett says there’s a lot to concealed carry many don’t think about, but these courses address it.
“That way you actually know how to pull your gun from your holster, where to avoid. If you’re in a crowded area, where should you be pointing your firearm,” Hogsett explained.
He admits, cutting requirements for training courses would hurt their bottom line, but insists it all comes down to safety.
Other locals agree.
“I don’t believe anybody should carry a weapon, especially a firearm, unless they’ve had good training, period,” said Craig from Los Lunas. “It’s too easy to make a mistake and kill somebody.”
Senator Neville says he proposed the bill after law enforcement officials in his district asked him to, concerned about the time it takes to enforce carrying without a permit, a petty misdemeanor.
There are currently 40,000 New Mexicans with concealed carry permits; 10,000 of them are women.
To see the rules for qualifying, click here.