Friday, April 23, 2010

Shootout with Utah

If you've got a concealed-carry license from Utah, it's no longer good here in New Mexico.

According to a statement just released by the state Public Safety Department, Utah's training provisions and other aspects of Utah's license aren't as stringent as those here.

“We’ve had situations where certain concealed carry instructors in New Mexico solicit clients with the promise that if they train here and obtain a Utah license, which entails significantly less training than does a New Mexico license, it will qualify here,” said DPS Secretary John Denko. “This is incorrect, and is nothing less than an effort to circumvent New Mexico concealed carry requirements which are designed to protect the public safety while honoring individual rights under the Second Amendment of the constitution.”

Because of the problems with Beehive State licenses, the DPS plans to review the status of eighteen other states that currently have concealed-carry licenses currently recognized here on an informal basis. These states are: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming.

New Mexico currently has a written reciprocity agreement in place with Texas; the status of this agreement will remain unchanged, the DPS says.

Update: DPS Spokesman Peter Olson just told me that what prompted this was his agency learning about Utah firearms instructors coming to this state conducting the training and getting New Mexico residents concealed carry licenses from Utah.

Utah only requires four hours of training and no range time, Olson said. New Mexico requires 15 hours with time at the firing range. The Utah license costs $50, compared with New Mexico's $100.

Olson said there was a list at a sporting goods store in Albuquerque indicating 65 people had signed up for the Utah license class.

One More Update: Steve Aikens, a Clovis firearms instructor and an open-carry advocate, said the DPS is correct.

“This has been a problem,” Aikens said in an email. "As stated, Utah does not meet our requirements and in fact, doesn't have a handgun qualification or competence demonstration requirement, as required in our law. It is also a known fact that there are instructors that recommend a Utah permit, which is recognized in NM, because it is so widely recognized. However, it should have been recommended in addition to a NM permit, not in lieu of a NM permit .”