Created: 08/11/2014 8:28 AM
By: The Associated Press
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - The state of New Mexico is seeing a rise in concealed carry permits that let people carry a concealed handgun into most public and private places.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that more than 343,000 New Mexicans received concealed carry permits last year, nearly 60,000 more people than in 2012.
The newspaper obtained the figures through a public records request.
A concealed carry permit lets a person carry a concealed, loaded handgun into most public and private places unless notices are posted.
Permit holders must complete a 15-hour firearms safety course.
Gun safety instructors attribute the rise partly to a resurgence in America's gun debate after 20 elementary students and six teachers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut during December 2012.
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