While some states are sitting around and waiting for the Senate to vote on H.R. 822: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (see status of bill here), others are pushing forward to expand concealed carry rights for their citizens and certain out-of-state visitors.
Last Month, state officials in Ohio and New Mexico signed a concealed carry reciprocity agreement. Now Ohioans with valid concealed carry permits can travel to New Mexico and lawfully carry their sidearms and vice versa.
“I am pleased that this agreement between Ohio and New Mexico will allow Ohioans who have concealed carry permits the same rights to carry a concealed handgun in the State of New Mexico, as well as New Mexicans who have concealed carry permits to do the same in Ohio” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
New Mexico Dept. of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Gorden E. Eden Jr. echoed those remarks. “As proponents of the Second Amendment, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety is happy to extend concealed carry rights to licensed Ohioans, as those same rights are extended to licensed New Mexicans who visit Ohio.”
In the Buckeye State the authority to enter into CCW reciprocity agreements falls to the Attorney General who can assess whether another states CCW requirements are “substantially comparable” to Ohio’s eligibility requirements. In the Land of Enchantment, this authority is reserved for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.
As it turns out, Ohio and New Mexico’s concealed carry laws are “substantially similar.” Both states require background checks for long-term residents or an FBI III check for new residents and both require training (NM – 4 hrs., OH – 12hrs.) in order for one to obtain a CCW permit.
As part of the agreement, both states have made their CCW verification systems available to one another so that law enforcement, if necessary, can check on the status of one’s CCW permit.
This reciprocity agreement will remain in effect unless terminated in writing by state officials or by either one of the state’s legislatures. 30-days notice is required.
Ohio and New Mexico now have reciprocity agreements with 22 other states.