N.M. studying other states’ standards

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The requirements for getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon are being looked at

By Sue M. Holmes

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico is taking an in-depth look at what 18 other states require before someone gets a permit to carry a concealed weapon, to see if those states’ standards are as strict as New Mexico’s.

In April, New Mexico stopped recognizing Utah’s concealed carry licenses because that state’s requirements were significantly less than what New Mexico demands before someone is issued a permit.

That led to a study by Jim Plagens, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety’s Special Investigations Division, into whether other states do background checks, whether they require fingerprint cards, how much classroom instruction is required and what’s taught, whether states require students to fire a handgun, and whether they require U.S. citizenship.

His initial report, submitted last week, prompted the in-depth survey.

“As an example of the complexity, some states will require a class taught by a certified instructor or an NRA (National Rifle Association) class or a hunters’ safety class or proof you were honorably discharged from the service,” Plagens said. “That’s all fine except the last. You could have been discharged from the service 30 years ago. ... That just doesn’t meet our standards.”

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