BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today said Democrats across the country should take a lesson from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, State Senator Shannon Robinson and State Rep. John Heaton for their sensible efforts to bring licensed concealed carry to the Land of Enchantment.

The legislation, which includes reciprocity language, was passed overwhelmingly by the State Legislature with a promise from Gov. Richardson that he will sign the measure. The law will take effect July 1, and the first licenses will be issued in January, according to Sen. Robinson. The delay allows the State Department of Public Safety time to set up the system.

“New Mexico gun owners owe their thanks to Robinson and Heaton for introducing CCW legislation and to Gov. Richardson for promising to sign the measure,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “This trio of Democrats should stand as examples to their colleagues in other states, where gun control extremism seems to be the party’s litmus test.”

Gottlieb pointed to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Colorado, New Jersey, California and other states where Democrats have consistently campaigned against the firearm civil rights of their constituents. He said those states represent poor examples for a party that includes staunch gun rights advocates like Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, and now New Mexico’s Gov. Richardson, Sen. Robinson and Rep. Heaton.

“Sen. Robinson’s legislation, as passed, is a reasonable first step toward making New Mexicans safer from crime,” Gottlieb stated. “While not nearly as progressive as similar laws in neighboring states, New Mexico has passed a significant measure. Time will show that the objections voiced by pro-criminal gun control advocates are the same empty rhetoric that has guided the concealed carry debate for years.”

Noting that 33 other states have passed so-called “shall issue” laws, Gottlieb noted, “Gov. Richardson and the New Mexico Legislature has done the responsible thing. New Mexicans will now be afforded the same self-defense rights shared by citizens in every surrounding state, and the majority of states.”