Open carry feedback please, NM / AZ

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Jun 8, 2007
Allow me to begin by saying that yes, I do know that legal advice you get on the internet is worth what you pay for it, might as well get that out of the way now before someone else says it :rolleyes:

I'm doing other research as well, but the state websites aren't all that helpful, I've got a couple of questions regarding open carry in these two states as I am a frequent visitor and intend to carry wherever, and however, I can legally.

In AZ open carry is legal as long as the weapon is "displayed in an obvious fashion". That leaves a lot to be defined. IWB could be "obvious" to some folks, hard to miss the butt of a full size auto growing out of your pants, others however read that it means a belt holster or open shoulder rig. Is there a general consensus on this among those who carry regularly?

Also the way I read it, it's fine to have your gun in your vehicle, but it has to be visible, and not "concealed". What's the best way to meet this requirement, a vehicle holster perhaps? In NM this concern goes away, as your vehicle becomes your home and you're welcome to carry in any fashion inside it.

I'm not sure about state pre-emption and local ordinances yet. I spend most of my time around Las Cruces and Silver City. Anyone local to that area aware of any city or county peculiarities?

Any info from the locals is much appreciated.
Done quite a bit of reading in their archives, just thought I'd solicit some experiences here as well.
AZ Title 13 Criminal Code, excerpted.

A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:

1. Carrying a deadly weapon without a permit pursuant to section 13-3112 except a pocket knife concealed on his person; or...

...F. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section shall not apply to a weapon or weapons carried in a belt holster which holster is wholly or partially visible, or carried in a scabbard or case designed for carrying weapons which scabbard or case is wholly or partially visible or carried in luggage.

There is your answer. It is generally assumed that the bottom portion of a holster showing, clearly visible as a holster is acceptable. YMMV. Use of a fanny pack is NOT considered open carry in AZ, decided in a court challenge many years ago.
We tried to change that particular law to not specify a belt holster, but Napalitano vetoed it. Next year.
I've openly carried in Santa Fe quite a number of times. Very rarely did anyone even comment. Do keep in mind however, that it is a felony to carry a gun anywhere liquor is sold. In NM, this is just about everywhere. Gas stations, many walmarts, and virtually all restaraunts are strictly verboten.
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