New Mexico Republican Promises Free Hunting to Vets, Dems Call for Gun Control

Steve Pearce, the GOP gubernatorial candidate for Mexico. (Photo: Facebook)

In New Mexico, the Republican candidate for governor has promised free hunting and fishing licenses to all honorably discharged veterans in the state. Steve Pearce, the candidate, is running on a veterans-first campaign.

Pearce, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, says he would guarantee each vet a deer tag every season, too.

“Instead of selling all of the tags to out-of-staters for just a few shekels, a few dollars, we’re going to start serving the people who served us,” Pearce said, according to the New Mexican. “It’s a small sign. It’s a symbol of respect.”

The number of deer tags the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish issues can vary year to year. In order to make sure tags remain available for other residents and hunters from neighboring states, Game and Fish would only issue free tags to veterans by request.

Fishing licenses for New Mexico residents cost $25 while hunting licenses are just $15. With over 158,000 veterans living in the state, the licenses value more than $6.3 million.

Already the state offers hunting and fishing licenses to active-duty and veteran service members at a discount. Pearce still believes that free is best.

“We have massive, tremendous opportunities for just personal leisure and pleasure here” said Pearce. “We’re going to see that our veterans get access to those services, those capabilities.”

In addition to the hunting and fishing licenses, Pearce is pushing for better retirement benefits for veterans and their families. Pearce is proposing a 100 percent personal income tax exemption for retired vets and “widowed spouses.”

He is also looking to set up a post-traumatic stress disorder “task force” and has pledged to end veteran homelessness in New Mexico.

See Also: In Colorado Big Game Hunting and Fishing is Big Business

Hunting, gun ownership and gun rights will be a key issue for voters heading to the polls this Fall. The anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety is spending at least $8 million in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and New Mexico on midterm election efforts.

“This is not a movement of blue states. This is a movement of Americans,” said Everytown president John Feinblatt. “The old third-rail warnings are out the window and you can redraw the map and work on gun safety virtually anywhere in this country.”

Everytown is backing Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor. Grisham says she would enact legislation to ban semi-automatic guns and the sale of ­high-capacity magazines. She also wants to enact “red flag” laws and put state funds towards other forms of gun control.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Wayne Beverly October 5, 2018, 6:58 am

    As a Vet, USMC Sgt-Vietnam 1966/67, and a former New Mexico resident that worked very closely with NM G&F I oppose free hunting/fishing licenses for Vets. Discounts yes. Free would cost the G&F too much income. I hunted Elk, deer, bear, lion for many years as a professional guide. Part of work for the State of New Mexico was ticketing and/or arresting poachers which did NOT endure me to the local population. I would not vote for the Democrat running for Governor although she would be a much better governor than the repugthuglican. I will not vote for gun control candidates. On the other hand I will never, ever vote for a repugthuglican for any office. Oh unless NM has changed greatly since the 25 yrs. I lived there, she’ll never get gun control to pass the legislature.

  • Ralph Woods October 3, 2018, 1:22 pm

    I’m an honorable retired U S ARMY Vetrans who has hunted in my home state of Texas all my life. I’ve also hunted in Colorado and New Mexico and have paid dearly for my tags and all the other expenses that coinside with hunting. I’ve always hunted on government lands that my taxes help support. My question is ” Why not allow out of state hunters and fishermen buy their licenses at the same cost of residents ? We pay taxes and spend untold money in your states that support your local communities “. I feel like we are getting screwed by paying hundreds for the privilege to use government lands. Just think what would happen to your economy if all “US OUT OF STATERS ” stayed home for a couple of years.

  • Ross Boswell October 3, 2018, 12:32 pm

    Being a veteran myself, I really like the idea of free hunting and fishing licenses for veterans. Here is really little done for veterans in America. Most people just don’t think about them at all. Veterans fought for everyone’s right to do and say what they want and attend the church of their choice or not attend at all. People don’t realize the things hat all branches of the military fought for so the rest of America could have the rights and freedoms they have. Hope my state learns from you and let’s it catch on here in Louisiana. Steve Pearce is definitely one of my hero’s. I hope he gets in office and I’ve got an idea that he’ll probably make it too. I know I’ll tell my friends in New Mexico to vote for him. It’s good to see someone care for his Nation the way he does. The other governors could learn a lot from him. Thank you Steve Pearce, keep up the good work Sir.
    Sincerely yours,
    Ross Boswell

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