Utah concealed weapons permits now invalid in N.M.

Published April 25, 2010 8:29 pm
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New Mexico is no longer recognizing Utah's concealed carry licenses in New Mexico, saying Utah's license requirements don't meet New Mexico standards.

A license to carry a concealed weapon requires significantly less training in Utah than in New Mexico, state Public Safety Secretary John Denko said. That raises special questions when New Mexico residents come to Utah to get their licenses, Denko said.

In the 2008-2009 budget year, Utah issued more permits to out-of-state residents than to Utahns.

New Mexico won't recognize another state's license unless its rules are as stringent as New Mexico's, Denko said.

The decision leaves Utah license-holders with 32 states where their permits are recognized. In July, Nevada stopped recognizing Utah permits because Utah does not require applicants to prove their proficiency with a live-fire test at a shooting range.

New Mexico's denial is "merely [an] affirmation of each state's right to limit its acceptance of out of state permits," wrote Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council.

However, Aposhian added that there is "wisdom" in nationwide recognition of all states' gun licenses, "the same as all states recognize all drivers licenses even though requirements vary for those and traffic laws differ in each state."

"There is no evidence that different administrative requirements for permits reflect any difference in accident rates or illegal behavior by permit holders," Aposhian said.

New Mexico is reviewing licenses of 18 other states it now recognizes on an informal basis: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.

New Mexico intends to enter into written agreements with other states to ensure compliance with its own requirements.

New Mexico officials say a written reciprocity agreement with Texas will not be changed.

Tribune reporter Erin Alberty contributed to this story.

Utah concealed weapons permits now invalid in N.M.

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