Gun Rights

I believe in responsible ownership of guns. As a self-governing people, “we the people’” should determine what responsible ownership means. Society and technology have progressed since the Amendment was written and so the Amendment should be revisited to see if it should be updated.

I believe the Second Amendment is not about keeping and bearing arms as a right without responsibility. Many people cherry-pick the last clause of the Second Amendment and ignore the first clause, I believe the term 'well regulated Militia' in the first clause means a formal Militia. If you are a member of the National Guard or military, you can own a gun. If you are not a member of a Militia then the second part of the sentence (the right to bear arms) does not apply. I believe this opens the way for ownership requirements (training, etc.) to be in compliance with the Second Amendment. The second clause depends on the first.

However, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment in a way that allows anybody to own a gun without restrictions; doing so ignores the first clause. Interpretations have changed over the years and I believe an updated interpretation is overdue. The Supreme Court once ruled that people could own other people, and that has changed. As our society progresses in civility, I believe the current court’s interpretation will change too, although perhaps not in my lifetime.

A second problem with regulating guns is with Section 6 of the NM Constitution. It currently states that anybody has the right to “bear arms” without limitation. This clause prevents regulations requiring licensing and training requirements.

Although it would take amending the NM State Constitution, I support licensing gun ownership. The licensing process could include gun safety training, proficiency testing, psychological testing and an “insurance” policy. Insurance would provide payment for accidents resulting from accidental injuries and death, just like car insurance liability is required to cover damage a driver might cause that he cannot afford to fix. Current gun owners that have completed certified training would need to be grandfathered in.