Letters to the Editor

Open carry of guns creates safer environment in New Mexico


I would like to know how Senate Bill 300 and House Bill 163 would restrict the ability of officers to ensure public safety.

I was on vacation in New Mexico and was wearing my weapon in the concealed-carry position walking into a donut shop. As I was walking in, I held the door open for a Brinks armored truck guard carrying a money bag.

Of course he was armed and I just had observed many patrons inside openly carrying a weapon. I asked the Brinks guard how he felt about so many people openly carrying a weapon and his response was, "To be honest it makes me feel a lot safer because I know who has a gun and who might help me if I am in trouble."

Then as I was getting ready to leave the store I noticed a police officer outside preparing to enter the donut shop, and I asked him the same question and he said "I love it. I know who has a gun and it makes me feel safer and the public feels better about having honest citizens carrying a gun under their shirt or openly. Besides that, the bad guys don't like it and stay away."

Crime in that area is 2 percent per capita and open carry has caused zero problems in New Mexico.

I do agree that when a citizen decides to buy a gun and get a concealed permit or open carry, at a minimum that person should have to attend a rigorous qualifying training course. We have too many people buy a gun and never really train with it; they do not know how to break it down and clean it, or operate it properly and will get himself or herself killed for lack of training and knowledge.

Mike McLeod