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Here in the Show Me State, we can qualify for a concealed carry permit with .22 revolvers and automatics. Susana Martinez would laugh at us, strike a match on the bottom of her boot and blow cigar smoke in our faces while laughing at us. With derision. According to her staff, the New Mexico Governor just turned in a perfect score while re-qualifying with a .38 and a .45. I feel so…inadequate. But congrats to Gov. Martinez. Wish there were more like you. Now pardon me while I head to the range.

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  1. This made some rounds on facespace, and after my wholesale “meh” my brother responded thus:

    “In fact, this isn’t that great of news. Permits get expensive when you need to renew them every two years, and you have to re-qualify each time. That makes the permit much more difficult for those who most need it to get (underprivileged living in high-crime urban areas). I like PA. Its pretty simple. Do you have a pulse? Do you not have any prohibiting offenses on your record? and the 3rd, gray area, are you of good moral fiber? I got a perfect score. Because they gave me a LCTF.”

    PA’s LTCF costs 20 bucks, and only requires renewal every 5 years. You walk into the sheriff’s office, hand them your paperwork and money (some offices only accept certain forms of payment), they take your picture, and if you have a good sheriff you get your LTCF on the spot.

  2. What constitutes a perfect score in NM? How many shots, at what distance and at what target? Here in Missouri, I scored perfect on my “quals” using 9mm and 38 special and I’d never even held a handgun before.

  3. It’s great that an elected official takes to the airwaves to broadcast her firearms expertise. When I’m governor, I’ll score 101% or the scorers will be looking for another job.

  4. I have much internal conflict over the need to show proficiency when obtaining a CCW permit. (Here in Colorado, we need not do so…) I tend to lean towards the ‘must show proficiency’ side. Perhaps it’s because I shoot well enough that I’d likely pass most tests that could be contrived for such a thing. We CCW’ers have in our possession a deadly weapon that could produce awful and unintended results were we to screw up at the moment of truth. Being able to demonstrate basic proficiency in gun handling and marksmanship is maybe not too much to ask.

    That said…

    I also firmly believe that the 2ndA is a right, not a privilege. I would be appalled if somehow it was ruled that one needed a degree in English to exercise their 1stA rights or that only homeowners — not renters — were entitled to protections under the 3rdA. To deny someone their 2ndA rights because they can’t prove proficiency seems wrong. One would hope that people with CCW permits would show enough ‘initiative’ to get training and become proficient. Unfortunately, not as many do so as we’d like.

    So, yeah, I find myself conflicted.

    But who is responsible for ‘mandating’ training?

    I think it’s us. We are the people introducing new folks to the world of firearms and I believe we have an obligation to follow thru with our new charges.

    Whenever someone asks me for advice on buying a handgun (it happens a lot), I say the same thing each time:

    Get a quality handgun on which you can make a firm and comfortable grip.
    Get a holster that costs more than $50.
    Get some real training.

    In most cases, the new shooter does exactly what I’ve recommended. On occasion, they don’t. I keep after the latter folks but try not to cross over into the ‘pest domain’.

    In fact, I emphasize training to new shooters so much that I’ve put my money where my mouth is. Next year, I’m dragging three people — two noobs and a semi-veteran — down to Gunsite for a week for the Pistol 250 course. I’ve taken the course before but it was worth $1500 to play chaperone and make sure these three get some quality training. (By repeating the course, I benefit too!) They’re good people who have accepted the responsibility to protect their families and I want them to have the best. It took 12 months of badgering but I got everyone to fork over their 50% down payment and book airline travel.

    Granted, this is an extreme example and not within the means of most folks. (If it helps, it was a financial stretch for me, too…) But they will have proficiency when they’re done. And nobody ‘mandated’ it.

    Well, OK, maybe I did. Sorta’…


  5. Q: How do you prevent a lot of people from receiving handgun permits?
    A: License a few and they’ll keep everyone else out.

    Handgun testing isn’t about proficiency, it’s about exclusivity. It’s a government trick designed to thwart the individual right of self-defense and enhance state power.

  6. I have a NM CC permit. I think it’s about an 11×17 target, with a total of 25 shots fired from 3 yards and 7 yards. Any hit on the paper counts. So, 100% is nothing to brag about. The state only requires something like 75% to pass. If you can’t do that, you probably really shouldn’t carry firearm.

  7. First we complain about how politicians don’t know anything about guns. Then when a politician actually does, and carries to boot (and a woman at that), we try and tear her down by saying, “well, 100% isn’t really THAT hard…”

    Sexism aside, the comments above are just more proof that gun owners are our own worst enemies.


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