New Mexico Gun Laws

Subject/LawLong GunsHandgunsRelevant StatutesNotes
State permit required to purchase?NoNoNew Mexico does not require any permit to purchase a long gun or handgun.[120]
Firearm registration?NoNo
Assault weapon law?NoNo
Magazine Capacity Restriction?NoNoThere is no magazine capacity restriction.[121]
Owner license required?NoNo
License required for concealed carry?N/AYesNMSA 29–19–4Shall-issue to full-time and part-time residents (who hold a valid New Mexico ID/Driver’s License), with passage of a criminal history check and mental health records check, and completion of 15-hour handgun safety course that includes live-fire instruction. Active military and law enforcement members and veterans honorably discharged within 20 years of permit application are exempt from training requirement.[122] Permit required to carry concealed loaded firearm on foot. No permit needed for open carry, concealed carry of an unloaded firearm, or transport of a loaded firearm either concealed or openly in a vehicle. Unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm is a petty misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 6 months in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Except for active-duty military members and dependents permanently stationed in the state, New Mexico does not issue CHLs to non-residents.
License required for open carry?NoNoIt is legal to open carry a loaded rifle and/or handgun in New Mexico without a permit.[123]
Vehicle carry permitted?YesYesA loaded firearm may be carried/transported either openly or concealed in a vehicle without a permit.
Out-of-state permits recognized?N/APartialNMSA 29-19-12New Mexico recognizes permits from states with reciprocity agreements (currently 24 states).[124] New Mexico law limits reciprocity agreements to states with licensing standards that are substantially similar or more restrictive than New Mexico’s.
Duty to Inform?NoNoNMSA 29-19-9Although not mandated by state law, it is customary in New Mexico to inform law enforcement officials when transporting firearms. Those who are carrying a loaded pistol or revolver concealed while on foot must carry their CHL with them and present it upon demand by law enforcement.
Concealed Carry on College Campuses?NoNoNMSA 29-19-8
NMSA 30-7-2.4
Firearms and ammunition may be stored in a locked vehicle while parked on campus, and may be carried while driving in a vehicle on campus, but may not be carried on foot while on campus property or stored in an on-campus facility. Exceptions exist for university-sponsored shooting events and ROTC programs.[125]
NFA weapons restricted?NoNo
State pre-emption of local ordinances?YesYesNMSA 29-19-10As stated in Article 2, Section 6 of the New Mexico Constitution. Tribal laws on Native American reservations not pre-empted. Some tribes recognize New Mexico firearms laws, while others do not and have far more restrictive firearms policies. Additionally, some local jurisdictions have enacted ordinances restricting or banning the discharge of firearms within their boundaries.
Castle Doctrine law?YesYesNMSA 30-2-7New Mexico’s self-defense statute (NMSA 30-2-7) is vaguely worded and does not specifically address Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground situations.[126] However, Castle Doctrine has been established on a limited basis by a 1946 New Mexico Supreme Court ruling, which states that when a person reasonably feels “threatened with an attack need not retreat. In the exercise of his right of self defense, he may stand his ground and defend himself.”[127] Currently, the courts have limited the scope of Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground to self-defense situations occurring inside the defender’s home, and neither law nor court precedence provides the defender immunity from lawsuits by the aggressor arising from the use of lethal force in self-defense. Additionally, judicial precedence in New Mexico has established that the use of lethal force is not justifiable in defense of one’s property alone.
Duty to Retreat?NoNo
Opt-Out statute?YesYesNMSA 29–19–12; NMSA 30–14–6; NMAC owners may prohibit the carrying of firearms onto property they lawfully possess by posting signage or verbally notifying persons upon entering the property. Violating these “gun-free” establishments is a full misdemeanor punishable by less than one year in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 (Criminal Trespass – NMSA 30-14-1).
Peaceable journey laws?NoNoOne may travel through or within New Mexico with a loaded weapon in a vehicle. Federal law pre-empts Native American reservation laws. FOPA is observed.
Red Flag Law?YesYes*Effective July 1, 2020. Senate Bill 5 would allow law enforcement officials to petition a judge to order the temporary seizure of firearms from an individual where there is probable cause that the individual will cause harm to themselves or others. Under the law, the subject has the option to surrender his or her firearms within 48 hours of the order, to law enforcement or to a licensed firearms dealer for safekeeping until the order expires or is rescinded. The judge will then schedule a hearing within 10 days to determine based on the preponderance of evidence if the weapons should be returned to the owner, or to issue an Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order (ERFPO) for up to 1 year. New Mexico’s Red Flag law also allows for an individual subject to an ERFPO to sell or transfer seized/surrendered firearms to a licensed firearms dealer or other non-prohibited buyer, after the buyer has passed a NICS background check. [128][129]
Background checks required for private sales?YesYesEffective July 1, 2019. Senate Bill 8, which establishes a requirement for NICS background checks for private-party transfers was signed into law on March 8, 2019. Exceptions will exist for active/retired LEO transfers and transfers between immediate family members.[130][131]Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition to universal background check laws.[132]
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