I was driving my family through the Gila National Forest in western New Mexico returning to El Paso from the Grand Canyon. US 180 is a very picturesque two-lane highway that meanders through pine forests, between mountains, and over spring-fed rivers and creeks. I wasn't paying attention to the speedometer and let the speed creep up a bit and was caught on radar in a meeting engagement with a NM State Police officer in a marked car.
NM law requires display of a license only when demanded by a LEO. However, I did the standard 'Texas Two-Step' - DL and CHL presented together. Officer Hammond hesitated a moment and asked, 'Is there a concealed handgun in the vehicle?' 'Yes, sir.' 'Where is it.' 'On my belt at three o'clock under my sweater, sir.' He explained that he had clocked me on radar at 69 mph in a 50 mph zone - the fine would run about $126. He returned my CHL and took my DL back to his vehicle to run it.
Upon returning, Officer Hammond had me sign a ticket for 60 mph in a 50 mph zone, saving me $50 on the fine. He didn't explain his reason for giving me a break, but he did state that he wished more responsible, law-abiding citizens would carry concealed handguns, expecially while traveling. I told him I appreciated the job he and his colleagues were doing, but I also knew that they had a lot of ground to cover and wouldn't always be immediately available when needed. I considered it my responsibility to be able to take care of myself and my family if we ran into a dangerous situation. He agreed, and we wished each other well upon parting.
I intend to write the Director of the NM State Police and compliment Officer Hammond for his professionalism and courtesy.