What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

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Montaldo, Charles. "What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-are-the-gun-laws-in-new-mexico-972058. Montaldo, Charles. (2017, March 4). What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-the-gun-laws-in-new-mexico-972058 Montaldo, Charles. "What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-the-gun-laws-in-new-mexico-972058 (accessed October 17, 2017).
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State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.
Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? No.
  • Registration of handguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No.
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.

Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change.

Purchase

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Residents of states contiguous to New Mexico may purchase firearms in New Mexico. Residents of New Mexico may purchase firearms in states contiguous to New Mexico.

Possession

No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

It is unlawful, without prior approval from the bus company, to board or attempt to board a bus while in possession of a firearm upon the person or effects and readily accessible while on the bus. This does not apply to duly elected or appointed law enforcement officers or commercial security personnel in the lawful discharge of their duties.

It is unlawful for a felon to receive, transport, or possess a firearm.

Felon is defined as:

  • A person who has been convicted of a felony offense by a court of the United States or of any of its states or political subdivisions;
  • And less than ten years have passed since the person completed serving his sentence or period of probation for the felony conviction, whichever is later;
  • And the person has not been pardoned for the conviction by the appropriate authority;

    And the person has not received a deferred sentence.

It is unlawful for a person under 19 to possess or transport a handgun, except when the person is:

  1. Attending a hunter’s or handgun safety course;
  2. Engaged in target shooting or in organized competition;
  1. Legal hunting or trapping;
  2. Participating in or practicing for a performance by a nonprofit organization formed under I.R.S. Code 501(c)(3);
  3. Traveling with an unloaded handgun to or from one of the above activities;
  4. On real property under the control of the person’s parent, grandparent, or guardian and while under their supervision.
A handgun is subject to seizure and forfeiture by a law enforcement agency when the handgun is possessed or transported by a person in violation of the offense of unlawful possession of a handgun by a person.

Carrying

It is unlawful to carry a concealed loaded firearm anywhere. This does not apply to:
  1. Carrying in a person’s residence or on real property belonging to him as an owner, lessee, tenant or licensee;
  2. Carrying in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance, for lawful protection of person or property; or
  3. Carrying by a peace officer in the lawful discharge of his duties; or
  4. By a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license issued by the Department of Public Safety.
Concealed handgun means a loaded handgun that is not visible to the ordinary observations of a reasonable person. Handgun means a firearm that will, is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion and the barrel length of which, not including a revolving, detachable or magazine breech, does not exceed twelve inches.

The Department of Public Safety shall issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant who:

  1. Is a citizen of the United States;
  2. Is a resident of New Mexico or is a member of the armed forces whose permanent duty station is located in New Mexico or is a dependent of such a member;
  3. Is twenty-one years of age or older;
  4. Is not a fugitive from justice;
  5. Has not been convicted of a felony in New Mexico or any other state or pursuant to the laws of the United States or any other jurisdiction;
  6. Is not currently under indictment for a felony criminal offense in New Mexico or any other state or pursuant to the laws of the United States or any other jurisdiction;
  7. Is not otherwise prohibited by federal law or the law of any other jurisdiction from purchasing or possessing a firearm;
  8. Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution;
  9. Is not addicted to alcohol or controlled substances; and
  1. Has satisfactorily completed a firearms training course approved by the department for the category and caliber of handgun that the applicant wants to be licensed to carry as a concealed handgun.

The department shall deny a concealed handgun license to an applicant who has received:

  • A conditional discharge, a diversion or a deferment or has been convicted of, pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor offense involving a crime of violence within the ten year period preceding application;
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs within five years immediately preceding the application for a concealed handgun license;
  • Been convicted within the ten year period preceding application of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance;
  • Or been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery or battery against a household member.
Concealed Handgun License (cont.)

Applications for concealed handgun licenses shall be completed, under penalty of perjury, on a form designed and provided by the department and shall include:

  • The applicant’s name, current address, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, height, weight, gender, hair color, eye color and driver’s license number or other state-issued identification number;
  • A statement that the applicant is aware of, understands and is in compliance with the requirements for licensure set forth in the Concealed Handgun Carry Act;
  • A statement that the applicant has been furnished a copy of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act and is knowledgeable of its provisions;
  • And a conspicuous warning that the application form is executed under penalty of perjury and that a materially false answer or the submission of a materially false document to the department may result in denial or revocation of a concealed handgun license and may subject the applicant to criminal prosecution for perjury.

The applicant shall submit to the department:

  • A completed application form;
  • A nonrefundable application fee in an amount not to exceed $100;
  • Two full sets of fingerprints; a certified copy of a certificate of completion for a firearms training course approved by the department;
  • Two color photographs of the applicant;

A law enforcement agency may fingerprint an applicant and may charge a reasonable fee.

Upon receipt of the above items, the department shall make a reasonable effort to determine if an applicant is qualified to receive a concealed handgun license.

The department shall conduct an appropriate check of available records and shall forward the applicant’s fingerprints to the federal bureau of investigation for a national criminal background check.

The department, within thirty days after receiving a completed application and the results of a national criminal background check on the applicant, shall issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant, or deny the application on the grounds that the applicant failed to qualify for a concealed handgun license pursuant to the provisions of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act.

The department shall suspend or revoke a license if the department receives information that would disqualify an applicant from receiving a concealed handgun license after the thirty-day time period has elapsed.

Information relating to an applicant or to a licensee received by the department or any other law enforcement agency is confidential and exempt from public disclosure unless an order to disclose information is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The information shall be made available by the department to a state or local law enforcement agency upon request by the agency.

A concealed handgun license issued by the department shall include

  • A color photograph of the licensee;
  • The licensee’s name, address and date of birth;
  • The expiration date of the concealed handgun license;
  • The category and caliber of handgun that the licensee is licensed to carry.

A licensees permit card shall indicate the maximum caliber of handgun they may carry, and also a statement that smaller calibers can be carried.

No person shall carry more than one concealed handgun at any given time. Concealed handgun licenses shall be valid for a period of four years from the date of issuance, unless the license is suspended or revoked.

A licensee shall notify the department within thirty days regarding a change of his name or permanent address.

A licensee shall notify the department within ten days if the licensee’s concealed handgun license is lost, stolen or destroyed.

If a concealed handgun license is reported lost, stolen or destroyed, the license is invalid and the licensee may obtain a duplicate license by furnishing the department a notarized statement that the original license was lost, stolen or destroyed and paying a reasonable fee.

If a license is lost or stolen, a licensee must file a police report with local law enforcement and include the case number in the notarized statement.

A licensee may renew his concealed handgun license by submitting to the department a completed renewal form, under penalty of perjury, designed and provided by the department, accompanied by a payment of a $75.00 renewal fee.

A licensee who renews his concealed handgun license may renew his license by taking a four-hour refresher firearms training course and paying the $75.00 renewal fee to the department.

The department shall conduct a national criminal records check of the licensee seeking to renew his license. A concealed handgun license shall not be renewed more than sixty days after it has expired.

A licensee who fails to renew his concealed handgun license within sixty days after it has expired may apply for a new concealed handgun license pursuant to the provisions of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act.

Concealed Handgun License (cont.)

All licensees must take a 2-hour refresher course within 26 months of the issuance of an original or a renewed license. The course may be taken 22 to 26 months after issuance, and a certificate of completion must be submitted to the department within 30 days of completion.

The department at its discretion may allow the transfer, recognition of, or enter into reciprocity agreements with other states that issue concealed handgun licenses.

The department shall suspend or revoke a concealed handgun license if the licensee provided the department with false information on his application form or renewal form for a concealed handgun license; the licensee did not satisfy the criteria for issuance of a concealed handgun license at the time the license was issued to him; or subsequent to receiving a concealed handgun license, the licensee violates a provision of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act.

The department publishes minimum standards for approved firearms training courses that teach competency with handguns.

Any person seeking to instruct firearms training courses must file an application with the department to become an approved instructor.

A person who is not an approved instructor may not instruct a firearms training course pursuant to this rule.

A firearms training course shall include classroom instruction and range instruction and an actual demonstration by the applicant of his ability to safely use a handgun.

An applicant shall not be licensed unless he demonstrates, at a minimum, his ability to use a handgun of .32 caliber.

An approved firearms training course shall be a course that is certified or sponsored by a federal or state law enforcement agency, a college, a firearms training school or a nationally recognized organization, approved by the department, that customarily offers firearms training.

The firearms training course shall be not less than fifteen hours in length and shall provide instruction regarding knowledge of and safe handling of single- and double-action revolvers and semiautomatic handguns; safe storage of handguns and child safety; safe handgun shooting fundamentals; live shooting of a handgun on a firing range; identification of ways to develop and maintain handgun shooting skills; federal, state and local criminal and civil laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of handguns; techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to control a violent confrontation; and techniques for nonviolent dispute resolution.

Nothing in the Concealed Handgun Carry Act allows a licensee in possession of a valid concealed handgun license to carry a concealed handgun into or on premises where to do so would be in violation of state or federal law.

It is unlawful to carry a concealed handgun on school or preschool premises even with a concealed carry license. No person shall carry a concealed handgun while impaired by the use of alcohol, controlled substances, or over-the-counter or prescribed medications. A licensee must have his concealed handgun license in his possession at all times while carrying a concealed handgun.

A licensee carrying a concealed handgun on or about his person in public shall, upon demand by a peace officer, display his license to carry a concealed handgun.

In addition to other limitations stated in the act, a licensee may not carry a concealed handgun on or about his person on private property that has signs posted prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons or when verbally told so by a person lawfully in possession of the property.

A concealed handgun license is not valid on tribal land, unless authorized by the governing body of an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo.

A concealed handgun license is not valid in a courthouse or court facility, unless authorized by the presiding judicial officer for that courthouse or court facility.

It is lawful to carry an unloaded firearm. It is lawful to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance, for lawful protection of person or property.

It is unlawful to carry a deadly weapon on school premises, grounds, school bus, or any public building or grounds where school-related and sanctioned activities are performed. Exceptions include a person older than 19 in a private means of conveyance for lawful protection of person or property, safety or military instruction, or any school approved program involving the carrying of a deadly weapon.

Unlawful Carry (cont.)

Unlawful carrying of a firearm on university premises consists of carrying a firearm on university premises except:

  • By a peace officer;
  • University security personnel;
  • A student, instructor or other university-authorized personnel who are engaged in army, navy, marine corps or air force reserve officer training corps programs or a state-authorized hunter safety training program;
  • A person conducting or participating in a university-approved program, class or other activity involving the carrying of a firearm;
  • Or a person older than nineteen years of age on university premises in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance, for lawful protection of the person’s or another person's or property.
A university shall conspicuously post notices on university premises that state that it is unlawful to carry a firearm on university premises.

University premises means the buildings and grounds of a university, including playing fields and parking areas of a university, in or on which university or university-related activities are conducted; or any other public buildings or grounds, including playing fields and parking areas that are not university property, in or on which university-related and sanctioned activities are performed.

No person shall carry a loaded or unloaded firearm in an establishment licensed by the regulation and licensing department for the dispensing of alcoholic beverage except:

  1. A law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his duties;
  2. The owner, lessee, tenant, or operator of the licensed premise or his agents, including privately employed security personnel during the performance of their duties;
  3. By a person in that area of the licensed premise usually and primarily rented on a daily or short term basis for sleeping or residential occupancy, including motel or hotel rooms;
  1. By a person on that area of the licensed premise used primarily for vehicular traffic or parking;
  2. For the purpose of temporary display, provided that the firearm is:
    • (a) made completely inoperative before it is carried onto the licensed premises and remains inoperative while it is on the licensed premises;

      (b) under the control of the licensee or an agent of the licensee while the firearm is on the licensed premises.

No person shall carry a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A properly licensed individual may carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of any location that is licensed to sell alcohol for off premise consumption.

Antiques And Replicas

New Mexico statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.

Machine Guns

It is lawful to possess a machine gun that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.

Miscellaneous

It is unlawful to endanger the safety of another by handling or using a firearm in a negligent manner.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 150 yards of an inhabited dwelling or building without the permission of the owner or lessee.

No person under 18 years of age may hunt with a firearm unless he carries a certificate indicating that he has successfully completed the New Mexico hunter training course or the hunter training course of another state which is approved by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

This does not prohibit any person from carrying or shooting a firearm while participating in an organized and supervised shooting program, or while under the immediate and direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or responsible adult, or while participating in a course of instruction in the safe handling of firearms offered by the Department; but these exemptions do not permit hunting without a valid hunter training certificate.

No person shall operate a snowmobile having a firearm in his possession unless it has no round in the chamber, with the action closed.

It is unlawful to carry, transport or have in possession firearms of any kind within any game refuge or to discharge any firearm into or within any state game refuge. This does not apply to county, state, or federal officers in the discharge of official duties, nor to persons crossing refuges over public roads and trails with firearms unloaded or taken down.

Permits may be issued to stockmen, trappers, ranchers, and property owners or their employees, to carry firearms while engaged in the discharge of their legitimate affairs on or within game refuges.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Montaldo, Charles. "What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-are-the-gun-laws-in-new-mexico-972058. Montaldo, Charles. (2017, March 4). What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-the-gun-laws-in-new-mexico-972058 Montaldo, Charles. "What are the Gun Laws in New Mexico?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-the-gun-laws-in-new-mexico-972058 (accessed October 17, 2017).