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New Mexico Gun Laws

Despite some restrictive firearms laws, New Mexico largely respects the right to keep and bear arms. In fact, the state constitution clearly outlines this by saying “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.” There are very few hardware restrictions, and New Mexico makes it fairly simple to lawfully obtain firearms. Although not as permissive as some states, lawful firearms ownership in New Mexico is relatively straightforward.

New Mexico Gun Laws at a Glance

Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check Yes
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements

No license is required to obtain a firearm in New Mexico.

Background Checks

Pursuant to federal law, all licensed firearms dealers must initiate background checks prior to the transfer of any gun.

Private sellers in New Mexico must conduct firearm sales through a federally licensed dealer so that a background check can be conducted.

Gun Shows

New Mexico does not regulate gun shows.

Firearms sales and transfers at gun shows must be processed by a licensed dealer. Potential purchasers must go through the background check procedure that applies to retail firearms transfers.

Further, gun show operators must have signs posted that read: “A National Instant Criminal Background Check must be completed prior to all firearm sales or transfers, including sales or transfers of rifles or shotguns.”

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons No restrictions
50 Caliber Rifles No restrictions
Machine Guns No restrictions
Large Capacity Magazines No restrictions
Ammunition Ammunition is prohibited in any designated state correctional facilities.

Prohibited Persons

New Mexico prohibits felons from receiving, possessing, and transporting firearms within ten years of completing a sentence.

Any person under age 19 is prohibited from owning a handgun.

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Firearms are prohibited on school premises, colleges, and universities. Any persons conducting or participating in a school-approved program or class. Any persons over 19 years old in a private automobile on university grounds.
Vehicles Unloaded firearms are permitted in vehicles. Firearms are prohibited on buses.

Concealed Carry Laws

Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs Enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Permitted
Restaurant Carry Permitted
State Park Carry No
While Hunting Permitted

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

A New Mexico Concealed Handgun License (CHL) is required for residents to carry a concealed firearm. With this license, you may only carry one firearm at any given time. The CHL license also identifies the caliber and category of handgun that you may carry.

New Mexico is a ‘shall issue’ state, meaning that any person will be granted a concealed carry license if they satisfy certain requirements.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
The New Mexico Department of Public Safety must issue a concealed carry license to an applicant who:
  • Is a US citizen
  • Is a New Mexico resident or is a member of the armed forces and permanently stationed in New Mexico
  • Is over 21 years of age
  • Is not a fugitive
  • Is not a convicted felon
  • Is not under a felony indictment
  • Is not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm
  • Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution
  • Is not addicted to any controlled substances
  • Is not addicted to alcohol
  • Has completed a firearms training course

  • New Mexico law also states that the governing body “shall deny” a permit to anyone who has:
  • Received a conditional discharge, diversion or deferment, or has been convicted or plead guilty or plead no contest to a misdemeanor involving a crime of violence within the past 10 years
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while intoxicated in the past five years
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving possession or abuse of a controlled substance within the past 10 years
  • Been convicted of misdemeanor assault, battery, or battery against a household member

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

Firearms training is required for a concealed carry permit in New Mexico. The training course must be for the category and largest caliber of the handgun that the applicant will be carrying. Firearms training courses are not required for former military members discharged within the 20 years preceding the application.

An approved training course must not be less than 15 hours in length and must provide instruction on the following:

  • Safe handling and knowledge of single- and double-action revolvers and semi-automatic handguns
  • Safe storage of handguns
  • Child safety as it pertains to handguns
  • Handgun shooting fundamentals
  • Live shooting of a handgun on a firing range
  • Identification of ways to develop and maintain shooting skills
  • Federal, state and local criminal and civil laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, transportation, use, and possession of handguns
  • How to avoid a criminal attack and how to control a violent confrontation
  • How to non-violently resolve disputes

  • Refresher training is required every two years after the initial issuance of a concealed carry license. Refresher training courses must be four hours long.

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a valid concealed carry license, you may not carry concealed firearms at the following locations:

  • Public schools, colleges and universities (except in a private vehicle if older than 19)
  • Buses, including public school buses
  • Establishments licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages other than beer or wine
  • Restaurants licensed to sell only beer and wine that derives at least sixty percent of its annual gross income from the sale of food for consumption on the premises
  • Anywhere while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including certain prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • Designated adult or child-detention or correctional facilities
  • Any state, county, municipal, or tribal court
  • State wildlife management areas/game refuges
  • Tribal land
  • Private property where posted
  • Airport security zones
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.