Posted at: 03/11/2014 1:07 PM
Updated at: 03/11/2014 6:18 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The door is open for any New Mexico convicted felon who gets a pardon to get a concealed-carry handgun license.
The state’s Attorney General has issued an official legal opinion saying a pardon from the governor erases the felony conviction. That means the former criminal can apply for a concealed-carry permit just like anybody with a clean record.
“The case law here in New Mexico really indicates that a pardon really does make it like the felony essentially didn’t occur,” said Gary King. “People who’ve been convicted of a felony and who receive a pardon from the governor would be eligible to get a concealed carry permit.”
Albuquerque’s new Police Chief Gorden Eden requested an opinion from the Attorney General on the issue about a year ago, when he the state’s Secretary of Public safety. King said it’s a good thing for New Mexico governors to keep in mind when they’re considering pardons.
“I would think that there might be some concern that certain felons might cause the state to want to not allow that person to ever carry a firearm again, whether they got a pardon or not,” King said.
Gov. Martinez has issued only a couple of pardons at this point, a spokesman said, and they were for elderly and ill people. Gov. Bill Richardson only issued a handful in his two terms.