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New Mexico Gun Control Laws

Sometimes it seems like the gun control debate will rage forever, with neither side willing to budge. Gun control regulations in the Land of Enchantment attempt to balance the interests of both sides and ensure safety for all. This is a basic overview of gun control laws in New Mexico.

Gun Control Laws in New Mexico

States gun control laws restrict the sale, ownership, and use of firearms, and can vary from state to state. While it's true that the Second Amendment protects the right to own certain arms, states are permitted to regulate who can purchase and buy firearms, how sales can be transacted, and, in some cases, what kinds of weapons and accessories are legal to own.

New Mexico has some of the most liberal gun laws in the nation. There are no outlawed weapons and there is no waiting period to purchase a gun, although convicted felons may not own firearms in the state.

New Mexico Gun Statutes

New Mexico's gun control statutes are highlighted below.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 29, Article 19, Sections 29-19-1 through 29-19-15 New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 30, Article 7, Sections 30-7-1 through 30-7-16

Illegal Arms

New Mexico does not prohibit specific types of firearms. However, federal law prohibits some firearms such as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.

Waiting Period

New Mexico does not require a waiting period for purchasing a gun.

Who May Not Own

A person who is younger than nineteen years old cannot possess a handgun. A person cannot possess any firearm if they:
  • Are a felon
  • Are a person subject to an order of protection
  • a person convicted of battery against a household member, criminal damage to property of a household member, a first offense of stalking, or federal firearm offenses

License Required?

New Mexico does not require a license to own a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

Carrying a concealed loaded firearm in public is prohibited unless a person has a valid concealed handgun license.

Open Carried Allowed?

New Mexico has no specific prohibitions against open carry.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

New Mexico must issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant who:
  • Is a citizen of the United States;
  • 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;
  • Is 21 years old or older;
  • Is not a fugitive from justice;
  • Has not been convicted of a felony;
  • Is not currently under indictment for a felony criminal offense;
  • Is not otherwise prohibited by federal law or the law of any other jurisdiction from purchasing or possessing a firearm;
  • Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution;
  • Is not addicted to alcohol or controlled substances; and
  • Has satisfactorily completed a firearms training course approved by the department for the category and the largest caliber of handgun that the applicant wants to be licensed to carry
New Mexico will 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 ten years immediately preceding the application;
  • Been convicted of misdemeanor driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs within five years immediately preceding the application for a concealed handgun license;
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance within ten years immediately preceding the application; or
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery, or battery against a household member.

Machine Gun Laws

New Mexico law does not prohibit machine gun possession. However, federal law prohibits machine gun possession with limited exceptions.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • A felon in possession of a firearm is a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine
  • Possesses a firearm in violation of a protective order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine
  • Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon is a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 6-months imprisonment and up to a $500 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Facing Gun Crime Charges in New Mexico?

It can be hard to know where to turn if you are facing gun crime charges. An experienced defense attorney in your area can help you protect your right to own a gun in the state of New Mexico.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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