Have gun, will travel?
If you are one of the rapidly increasing number of Dona Ana County residents with a concealed-carry permit and want to pack your pistol for a road trip, it's important to know how the law differs in other states.
If you're staying close to home, you won't see much change.
According to a July report released by the United States Government Accountability Office, all five bordering states honor New Mexico concealed-carry permits.
Beyond that, all of them are, like New Mexico and most other states, shall-issue jurisdictions. That means people that apply for a concealed-carry permit and meet the qualifications will be issued the license.
Among the bordering states, the most unique is Arizona, but it doesn't have a tangible effect on New Mexico permit holders.
In 2010, Arizona legislators passed a law that granted residents the right to carry concealed weapons in public without a permit. The state's Department of Public Safety still issues such permits, which allow holders to legally enter bars and restaurants, and take advantage of reciprocity agreements from most states.
The 2010 Arizona law change also stiffened punishments for crimes committed with concealed weapons.
Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming also allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Last year, USA Today reported that 12 states are considering
While there are a few states with more liberal concealed-carry laws than New Mexico, there are a greater number with more restrictive laws. New Mexico certainly isn't an outlier; its laws are similar to most other states.
Ten states are considered may-issue jurisdictions, which grants them more ability to scrutinize who receives concealed-carry permits. Of these states, California is the closest. It does not recognize New Mexico concealed-carry permits. The other states that don't are along the Pacific coast, Deep South and Northeast.
New Mexico is among a minority of states that recognizes concealed-carry permits from 19 or fewer states. New Mexico does not recognize permits from Utah. The four other bordering states' permits are recognized.
Illinois and Washington D.C. do not allow any civilian to carry concealed handguns.
If you do travel to nearby states, you might meet more concealed-carry permit holders than at home. New Mexico has the lowest ratio in the region of active adult permits to adults over 20, according to the Government Accountability Office. @auguststaley
To link to an interactive map of reciprocity for concealed-carry permits, go to www.usconcealedcarry.com/travel/.
For more information about New Mexico's concealed-carry laws, go to www.dps.nm.org and click on the NM Concealed Carry
Did you know?
-- State law prohibits drinking alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon.
-- Concealed weapons can be carried at businesses that sell alcohol, as long as that business permits and doesn't sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.
-- Private property owners may prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons on their property.
-- It takes about eight to 12 weeks to issue a license.
-- Concealed-carry permits are invalid on tribal land, unless authorized by that jurisdiction's governing body.
-- To legally carry the concealed handgun, you must carry the license too.
-- Carrying a concealed weapon while impaired by alcohol, street drugs, or any prescribed or over-the-counter drug is illegal.
-- Source: New Mexico Department of Public Safety
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