NEW MEXICO SUPREME COURT DECISION ON CONCEALED CARRY WAS PROPER, SAYS CCRKBA

Tuesday, January 6th, 2004

BELLEVUE, WA- New Mexico’s State Supreme Court has done the correct thing in allowing the new concealed carry statute to stand, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

The state high court, without comment, rejected a challenge to the new law by an anti-gun physician and child advocacy group. Under the new statute, law-abiding New Mexicans over the age of 25 who qualify will be able to obtain a two-year carry license. They must complete a background check and firearms training course.

“Anti-gunners like those in New Mexico have revealed themselves as being against the rights of honest citizens to defend themselves against criminals,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “It appears the justices on New Mexico’s high court took the intellectually honest approach on this case, reviewing the statute and properly interpreting the state constitution’s provision regarding the right to bear arms. Their rejection of this simplistic challenge to the self-defense rights of law-abiding New Mexico citizens, if nothing else, should stand as a monument to common sense.

“Opponents of this new law have a hidden agenda,” Waldron suggested. “They’re not simply against concealed carry; they wanted to prevent New Mexico residents from learning just how well such a law can work. Citizens, and many law enforcement officials, in other states where concealed carry laws have been passed have learned from experience that these laws are effective. Studies, and crime statistics, suggest that states with concealed carry laws enjoy lower crime rates. Anti-self- defense zealots should have to explain what’s wrong with that.”

The justices will issue an opinion later on their decision, but Waldron noted that a similar challenge is being mounted against the new concealed carry law in Missouri, and that state’s Supreme Court now has the case under consideration.

“Missouri justices should take a lesson from their contemporaries in New Mexico, and follow their lead,” Waldron observed. “Concealed carry laws work, and it does not take much analysis of state constitutions to understand that framers of the right to keep and bear arms in those states knew what they were doing, and what they meant.”