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Old July 11, 2014, 06:04 PM   #1
gamestalker
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Alcohol / CS related firearm restrictions in New Mexico

I was in New mexico last spring for a turkey hunting trip. And as I do when ever going to other states, I read the gun laws to avoid problems. In New Mexico it is absolutely illegal to have in one's control or possession a firearm if they have consumed any alcohol, or any prescription CS medications, or have been prescribed CS's. And I know N. Mex isn't the only state with these type of restrictions.

Now I fully understand and agree that guns, alcohol and controlled substances don't mix when an individual is considered impaired by their actions, but is such a broad stated law really the right approach? Just because someone has had one or two bears, or has been prescribed a CS, should they be banned from their firearms, even if they aren't currently under the influence of that prescribed medication, or aren't impaired? IMO, if the individual is not impaired, I think they should be legal to have or carry a firearm. But N. Mex. is adamant about it, in that anyone who has consumed any amount of alcohol, or has been prescribed a CS, and regardless of whether or not they are currently under the influence, is automatically charged with a misdemeanor offense, and their firearms are confiscated.

As for illegal drug use or possession, they are breaking the law to begin with, and should therefore be charged accordingly. But the above law turns a law abiding citizen into a criminal.

GS
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Old July 11, 2014, 06:24 PM   #2
orionengnr
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What is a "CS" medication?
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Old July 11, 2014, 06:27 PM   #3
NOMI WASP
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Assume "CS" means "Controled Substance"

I would think if you could pass a sobriety test there would be no need for law enforcement to go any further.
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Old July 11, 2014, 06:40 PM   #4
glennv
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I think this is a tricky one in many states. Unless you're operating a motor vehcle then what's to stop a person from refusing a sobriey test? My state doesn't have any language that addresses this. Unless you're knock-down wasted it would be tough proving you are under the influence.

I surely don't advocate being under the influence when in posession of a firearm but it raises the question if you are under the influence, say at home, not in posession of a firearm, but then need to retrieve a firearm to defend yourself. (While intoxicated.) Our state's Supreme Court ruled this law unconstitutional. (That is if you are defending yourself.)
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Old July 11, 2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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So, I lose my God-given, unalienable right because a competent physician has prescribed me a medication?

And what is considered a "controlled substance"? After my second spinal fusion surgery I had a prescription for Percocet (in addition to about three others), and I think that was a Class I narcotic (not sure if my terminology is correct). The prescription was largely ineffective, and in no way was I "intoxicated" or even really "under the influence" of anything except pain. Regardless, after one week at home (each time), I was riding my motorcycle to work every day and working 8 hours every day (office work, not strenuous, but pretty miserable for the next three-six months).

But the state of NM deems that it would not be legal for me to defend my life under those circumstances? You must be kidding me. I guess I'll steer clear of NM (next state over) as their lawmakers clearly haven't got the common sense God gave a scorpion. Maybe a cactus would be a better choice.

If I popped four Percocets and drank a six-pack...yes, I can see that being abusing the meds and being under the influence.

But as stated in the OP? That is just waiting for a test case. Not that it will be me.
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Old July 11, 2014, 07:38 PM   #6
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Old July 11, 2014, 07:47 PM   #7
RustyShackelford
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Safety issues, guns....

In my view(not a formal law or ordinance) you should not carry, shoot or use any firearms if your judgement is impaired or you knowingly consume/take any narcotic or beverage that may cause you to become intoxicated.
Prescribed medications, OTC drugs, illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, etc.
It's just common sense that you wouldn't want to shoot at anyone or be caught after a AD/ND with a BAL over the legal limit or spaced out on pain meds.
A civil litigator or aggressive DA could bring in a busload of "legal experts" & medical professionals to drive your legal defense into the ground.

Rusty
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Old July 11, 2014, 07:49 PM   #8
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This also applies to individuals sitting around the camp fire having a beer after a day of hunting, that if the firearms are not locked up, and out of the easy access or control of the individuals who are drinking, they are subject to criminal charges.

I had no problem finding this information prior to my hunt in New Mexico this last spring, but for some reason I can't find the stated law right now. I might have seen it in my New Mexico hunting regulations, I'll check.

GS
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Old July 11, 2014, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackelford View Post
In my view(not a formal law or ordinance) you should not carry, shoot or use any firearms if your judgement is impaired or you knowingly consume/take any narcotic or beverage that may cause you to become intoxicated.

Prescribed medications, OTC drugs, illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, etc.

It's just common sense that you wouldn't want to shoot at anyone or be caught after a AD/ND with a BAL over the legal limit or spaced out on pain meds.

A civil litigator or aggressive DA could bring in a busload of "legal experts" & medical professionals to drive your legal defense into the ground.



Rusty

In my view if the prescription is legally prescribed and used as directed it's no ones business.

I have permanent nerve damage and lots of back problems. Due to this I take hydrocodone daily. It does not get me "high" nor do I get intoxicated from it. When you truly need it for the pain and use it appropriately you should not be intoxicated.

I certainly won't surrender my right to protect my family because I use a legally prescribed medication
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
In New Mexico it is absolutely illegal to have in one's control or possession a firearm if they have consumed any alcohol, or any prescription CS medications, or have been prescribed CS's.
Where did you get that information?
If you can't cite & quote the law, I don't believe it.
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:17 PM   #11
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I say it's as simple as choosing between the two, regarding alcohol. It doesn't take a real smart fella to realize that alcohol and weapons don't mix no matter who's speaking to the subject. Now, if your doctor has you on mood enhancing meds because of particular reasons, that is another story. But as far as alcohol goes, I think the two just do not mix...
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:30 PM   #12
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So you go and have a root canal.
Get antibiotics and narcotics (pain meds) for a week or so.

You come home where the firearms in your safe are "under your control".

Now your in violation of a law?!?
Not only (if true) is this law poorly written but needs to be removed until it is rewritten.

I will not even address the constitutional aspects of this.

Remember, this revolution concept was given birth by a bunch of armed guys in a bar.

By the way Controlled Substances include very low dose codeine cough medicine you give your 3 year old.

Not all controlled substances are narcotics!
http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ds.shtml

Last edited by FuzzyBunny; July 11, 2014 at 09:49 PM.
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Old July 11, 2014, 11:49 PM   #13
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I just completed a CCW course in New Mexico and found this citation in the handbook. Note that it applies to concealed weapons and not weapons in general:

Pursuant to NMSA 1978 Section 30-7-4, no person shall carry a concealed handgun while impaired by the use of alcohol, controlled substances, or over-the-counter or prescribed medications. 10.8.2.16 NMAC, TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LICENSE reads: B. Consumption of alcohol prohibited. No person shall consume alcohol while carrying a concealed handgun.
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Old July 12, 2014, 12:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
I say it's as simple as choosing between the two, regarding alcohol. It doesn't take a real smart fella to realize that alcohol and weapons don't mix no matter who's speaking to the subject. Now, if your doctor has you on mood enhancing meds because of particular reasons, that is another story. But as far as alcohol goes, I think the two just do not mix...
I generally agree, but theres a huge difference between someone who has 1 beer and then decides to go shooting and someone whos actually shooting impaired. It would be nice if the law would recognize the difference.
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Old July 12, 2014, 01:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medalguy View Post
I just completed a CCW course in New Mexico and found this citation in the handbook. Note that it applies to concealed weapons and not weapons in general:

Pursuant to NMSA 1978 Section 30-7-4, no person shall carry a concealed handgun while impaired by the use of alcohol, controlled substances, or over-the-counter or prescribed medications. 10.8.2.16 NMAC, TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LICENSE reads: B. Consumption of alcohol prohibited. No person shall consume alcohol while carrying a concealed handgun.
Congratulations on taking the course! I also have a NM CCW, and something I find interesting is that the law does not define "impaired", and to the best of my knowledge (somebody please correct me if you know better!) it isn't defined except in the specific case of DUI anywhere.
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Old July 12, 2014, 01:10 AM   #16
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NMSA 1978 section 30-7-4
"No person shall carry a concealed weapon while impaired by alcohol, controlled substances, over the counter, or prescribed medications".

But the above is pursuant to 10.2.8.16 "Terms and condition of a license" Which isn't really what I recall reading. What I referenced, and I wish I could locate it, is a general firearm law that regards anyone carrying a firearm for any legal purpose, such as while hunting. And like I said, it stated something regarding a firearm within the area or control of an individual "who is prescribed, or under the influence of any controlled substance or over the counter medication, even if legally prescribed by a physician". That is almost the exact phrasing I recall.

I'm going to continue digging, I know I'll find the legal reference eventually. I still think I read it some where in the state hunting laws though.

GS
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Old July 12, 2014, 08:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePfeiffer
Congratulations on taking the course! I also have a NM CCW, and something I find interesting is that the law does not define "impaired", and to the best of my knowledge (somebody please correct me if you know better!) it isn't defined except in the specific case of DUI anywhere.
Just a WAG, but if the Carry Laws or Hunting laws do not specifically define "Impaired", but other State Statutes do (DUI), would not the definition of "Impaired" be the same as the DUI if not specifically altered in the Carry Laws?
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Old July 12, 2014, 09:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by steve4102 View Post
Just a WAG, but if the Carry Laws or Hunting laws do not specifically define "Impaired", but other State Statutes do (DUI), would not the definition of "Impaired" be the same as the DUI if not specifically altered in the Carry Laws?
I don't know -- but I don't intend to be the guy who finds out!
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Old July 12, 2014, 05:54 PM   #19
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I would venture to guess that the definition "impaired" would be a serious point that a lawyer would go after in such a circumstance. But as other's have conveyed, I am not about to be the one who establishes case law in this respect.

I'm disabled, therefore I struggle with various physical and mobility issues, as well as severe chronic pain, so a physical sobriety test would most certainly not end well for me. But I would probably fare some what better after a taking a pain pill, considering. But many LEO's are trained to identify signs of narcotic use by observing pupil reaction to light, dilation, and REM characteristics.

But I thought this thread would provide useful information for those of us that might not know that it could cause a legal problem under right /wrong circumstances. Such an example would be that if an individual was driving along and an LEO pulled them over for something like a tail light burned out, or a similar type circumstance. The the LEO happens to see your narcotic prescription bottle containing Percocet (Oxycodone), Tylenol 3, or what ever? Now toss into that mix having had to use your weapon in a SD situation?

I'm not done looking for the written law as I initially described and posted in #1. An other wise law abiding CCW citizen, could be found in violation of such a poorly written, poorly defined law, IMO.

GS
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Old July 12, 2014, 10:56 PM   #20
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Post #9....

To answer post #9;
If your medicine or doctor prescribed narcotics do not impair your judgement or cause you to act irrationally or unstable then so be it.
If you drive a motor vehicle impaired or shoot into a crowd then say you are on medications, it will quickly become someone else's business.

In my area, the problem of hit and run traffic accidents is growing. Many negligent drivers later say; "I'm on medication." Or "I had side effects from my medical condition."
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Old July 12, 2014, 11:19 PM   #21
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I think the keyword here is "impaired". Of course, that is up for interpretation. I think it goes back to the theory that almost every one of us violates a half dozen laws in the course of their day. We have become a society where laws have replaced common sense.
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Old July 13, 2014, 01:29 AM   #22
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We have become a society where laws have replaced common sense.

+1
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Old July 13, 2014, 09:57 AM   #23
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Old July 14, 2014, 03:25 AM   #24
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If witness after witness testifies that you stood up, waved a gun around, announced "I can whoop any sumbuck in this bar," and put a couple of rounds into the ceiling, you don't want me on the jury deciding if that behavior fits the definition of "impaired."
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Old July 15, 2014, 08:14 AM   #25
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Use some common sense. I spent my LE career in New Mexico and yes consuming alcohol while in physical possession of a firearm is illegal. Doesn't mean you can't have just not be in control of it while drinking. If you have a couple BEERS while at dinner and your gun is in the car. If stopped on the way home, and say arrested for DUI, if the gun is not in your actual physical control, you will probably not be charged (Some officer discretion /opinion allowed) Same goes for legally obtained prescription CS drugs. By the way, you can't drive while taking some CS drugs either and not just in NM.

Unless you can actually cite an incident where guns were confiscated, your complaining about "what ifs".. I can tell you about many tragic alcohol/ drug related "accidental shootings" though. There is a reason for the law.
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