It appears that the restriction on carrying firearms in NM state parks is contained in the NM Admin Code, Section 184.108.40.206.A. This section reads, " Visitors shall not possess firearms, including concealed firearms, with a cartridge in any portion of the mechanism or discharge firearms, including concealed firearms, except during designated hunting seasons or in authorized areas. No such activity is allowed within 300 yards of a developed park area or occupied campsite. Subsection A of 220.127.116.11 NMAC does not apply to on duty law enforcement officials."
So, my question (to my fellow not-lawyers on this forum) - may one carry an unloaded firearm in state parks (with magazine or speedloader at hand)?
You can have the gun as long as there are no bullets directly touching the gun. I've heard a few people say they've open carried in the state parks and one had a ranger approach him and then leave him alone once he told the ranger it was unloaded and the ranger saw an empty magwell.
Unloaded concealed carry is also acceptable. I do that myself because I don't want to be the first guy I know of who encounters a ranger who doesn't know the law. I also don't want a ranger who knows the law to fiddle with my sidearm.
Maybe next year (not likely, short session) or the year after that we'll have more luck getting a state park carry bill somewhere.