NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Not everyone has to take a concealed carry training class to be able to carry a concealed weapon in New Mexico, and the exception has some concealed carry instructors concerned.
The current law now makes an exception for military members.
Sen. Craig Brandt (R-Rio Rancho) added an amendment to a House Bill last year to make the change.
“We had an exclusion for military members who were honorably discharged from the service,” Sen. Brandt said.
Up to 20 years after that discharge, they can get a license without getting the training.
“The training is about gun safety. Gun safety is not something you forget once it’s ingrained into you in the military and whether you were trained on handguns or not, every military person is trained on firearm safety,” Sen. Brandt said.
A fiscal impact report pointed out that not everyone in the military gets gun training on a regular basis, which could mean a military member who served for 20 years and then was retired for another 20, could go 40 years without training but still get a concealed carry license.
“Not knowing the law will be held against them, and I cannot see that. I think they need to have the schooling,” said concealed carry instructor Dale Perkins.
Perkins is trying to talk to legislators about reversing the military exemption.
“The laws and rules of engagement for military are different than for civilians,” Perkins said.
He is worried it’s doing a disservice to those who served honorably for our country.
“Here’s the problem is that the laws, rules and regs change so much,” Perkins said.
However, Sen. Brandt stands by his bill.
“Yes, laws change and it is every citizen’s responsibility to keep up with what the laws are. Ignorance is no excuse,” Sen. Brandt said.
There has already been an exemption in place for retired law enforcement officers, but that is actually stricter than for military members.
Retired law enforcement officers are only exempt from taking a concealed carry training class if they retired less than ten years earlier.