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New Mexico Right to Carry Update!

Friday, July 1, 2005

 
As you may be aware, the changes to New Mexico`s "Right To Carry" law that were adopted during the 2005 legislative session took effect on June 17.  These included lowering the minimum age requirement for a license from 25 to 21, allowing licensees to carry the caliber handgun with which they qualified and anything lower, extending the term of future original and renewal licenses from 2 to 4 years, and establishing authority for the Department of Public Safety to enter into reciprocal agreements with certain other states.
 
By law, DPS is required to draft rules to implement these changes to existing law, to give 30-days notice of a public hearing on the proposed rules, to hear public comments on the proposed rules, and to finalize those rules after public input.  Based on internal timelines the Department has shared with us, we expect that a public hearing will be held sometime around mid-August, with a goal to have the rules finalized and in effect by September 1.
 
In the meantime, the Department has already been in touch with other states to get the appropriate contact information for reciprocal agreements in their respective departments or agencies, and to review their carry statutes to determine if they would qualify for reciprocity with New Mexico.  This process can take weeks or months depending on the level of cooperation and promptness of response from each individual state contacted.  Agreements will not take effect until signed by officials in both states and formally announced by DPS.
 
The Department is currently accepting applications from individuals aged 21-24, and instructor certificates of completion that reflect the streamlined caliber-specific training requirement.  So even though the rules have not yet been finalized, your application will be accepted and processed  in anticipation of that eventuality.
 
The Department is in the process of updating their website to reflect the changes to the law.  You can check http://www.dps.nm.org/ in the next week or so to view the most recent information on approved instructors and the license application process.
 
Thank you for your patience, and we hope this will answer many questions you may have on New Mexico`s carry law.
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