New Mexico Gun Laws

Complete guide to gun laws in New Mexico

Updated February 19, 2020

Updated December 4, 2019

 

Your guide
mark woodward

Mark Woodward

Mark Woodward

New Mexico is a "Shall Issue" state with concealed carry licenses issued to residents only. The gun laws compared to other states ar fairly liberal and allow a person from another state to transfer their handgun license into a New Mexico license if the concealed carry laws in the other state are similar to New Mexico's. Open carry is common and legal without a carry license, you only need a license to conceal carry.


Your guide
Image

Mark Woodward

New Mexico is a "Shall Issue" state with concealed carry licenses issued to residents only. The gun laws compared to other states ar fairly liberal and allow a person from another state to transfer their handgun license into a New Mexico license if the concealed carry laws in the other state are similar to New Mexico's. Open carry is common and legal without a carry license, you only need a license to conceal carry.

New Mexico is a "Shall Issue" state with concealed carry licenses issued to residents only. The gun laws compared to other states ar fairly liberal and allow a person from another state to transfer their handgun license into a New Mexico license if the concealed carry laws in the other state are similar to New Mexico's. Open carry is common and legal without a carry license, you only need a license to conceal carry.

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Quick facts

Carry In Vehicle YES
Must Notify Officer NO
State Park Carry YES
Gun Signs Enforced YES
Open Carry YES
Restaurant Carry YES
Constitutional Carry NO
See Details
See Details

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total active ccw
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licenses in NM
States honoring
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NM license
CCW licenses
0
NM honors
States not
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honoring NM license

New Mexico Reciprocity Map

  • Issuing State
  • NM license honored
  • NM license not honored
  • Issuing State
  • NM license honored
  • NM license not honored

New Mexico reciprocity guide for handgun licenses

New Mexico will honor another states permit if it meets certain conditions set out in section 29.19.12 - Reciprocal Agreements. This statute can be viewed in the laws section of this page but basically it requires the other states requirements for a concealed handgun license to be substantially similar to New Mexico's or more stringent. This statute also has other requirements which we have not listed here, they can be viewed in the laws section if necessary. Currently there are 24 states that meet New Mexico's conditions for their concealed handgun license to be honored in NM.

A full list of states with reciprocity agreements with New Mexico is maintained on the NM Department of Public Safety website.

States that will honor a New Mexico handgun license
0
states

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Handgun licenses New Mexico will honor
0
states

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming

States that will not honor a New Mexico handgun license
0
states

California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington.

District
Washington D.C.

Overview of the New Mexico concealed handgun license

new mexico state flag
New Mexico state flag
  • Issue policy - Shall Issue
  • Issued to - Residents
  • License Fee - $100
  • License Valid - 4 years

Handgun Permit Overview

The New Mexico concealed carry license is only required if you want to conceal a firearm on your person. It is legal to open carry a handgun without a license. They are issued for a period of 4 years and as NM is a Shall Issue state the license is easy to obtain if you meet all the requirements. If the license is revoked then the licensee must wait for a period of 2 years before they can apply for a new license.

Non-Resident Licenses

New Mexico does not issue concealed carry licenses to Non-Residents but they will make exceptions for military personel and their dependants if they are stationed in New Mexico. They also have a law which allows an out of state license to be transferred into a New Mexico license. The application for transfer is made as a renewal application and the applicant will need to provide the following documentation;
  • proof of citizenship
  • proof of residency
  • proof of age
  • a photocopy of the license that is being transferred

10.8.2.17 - License Transfer and renewal

Handgun Training

Completion of a training course is required for new license applications and renewals. The renewal course can be taken online and is just a refresher course that takes roughly 2 hours to complete. The initial new application course must be sponsored a college, state or federal law enforcement agency, a firearms training school or a organization that is reconized nationally and approved by the MN Detartment of health and Safety.

The course must be at least 15 hours long and provide instruction in the following areas;

  1. Safe handling and knowledge of single doubl action revolvers semi automatic handguns.
  2. Storage and child safety.
  3. Handgun shooting basics
  4. Firing range practice.
  5. How to maintain handgun skills
  6. Laws relating to ownership, purchase and transporting handguns.
  7. Ways to avoid an attack.
  8. Non-violent dispute resolution.

The state website maintains a list of certified instructors.


Requirements to qualify for a New Mexico handgun license

  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • A citizen of the United States.
  • Complete a firearms training course.
  • A resident of New Mexico or is a member of the armed forces whose permanent duty station is located in New Mexico.
  • You are not a fugitive from justice.
  • You have 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.
  • You are 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.
  • You are not otherwise prohibited by federal law or the law of any other jurisdiction from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
  • You have not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution.
  • You are not addicted to alcohol or controlled substances.
  • You have satisfactorily completed a firearms training course.
  • You have not received a;
  1. conditional discharge, a diversion or a deferment or 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;
  2. 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;
  3. been convicted within the ten year period preceding application of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance; or
  4. been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery or battery against a household member.
  • Federal Law - Prohibits the following persons

  • How to apply for a New Mexico handgun license

    Follow these steps to obtain a permit

      1. Complete a firearms training course.
      2. Go to your local Police or Sheriff to get fingerprinted
      3. Gather all the documents required;
        • Two fingerprint cards
        • Certified original copy of your birth certificate, must be issued by vital statistics
          in the state in which you were born, no photocopies,
        • Copy of certificate of completion of firearms training,
        • Copy of New Mexico Driver’s License or Identification Card,
        • Release forms and any other supporting documentation.
      4. Send your application and supporting documents to;

    NM Department of Public Safety
    SID/Concealed Carry Unit
    6301 Indian School Rd. NE Suite 310
    Albuquerque, NM 87110

    You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

    new mexico handgun license

    How to renew your New Mexico handgun license

    • A New Mexico handgun license can be renewed 60 days before or 60 days after the expiry date.
    • If the license has expired then the licensee cannot carry a concealed handgun until the license is renewed.
    • A firearms refresher course will need to be completed, this can be done online.
    • Fingerprints will need to be supplied if they are not already on file with the Department of Public Safety.
    • Government photo ID will need to be supplied such as a New Mexico drivers license.
    • Use the same form that is used for new applications, just tick the renewal box on it.

    Schedule of fee's for a New Mexico handgun license

    Application ConditionsOriginalRenewal
    Individual$100 (includes $56 fee + $44 fingerprint fee)$75
    Instructor$44 (for fingerprints)$0
    Duplicate/Modification$10

    Essential forms for a New Mexico handgun license

    texas ccw forms

    Download the required application form, you will find the application at the end of the document which mainly consists of an overview of the laws in the first section. This form is also used for license renewals. Other forms included in the application package are; Authorization for Health Information, Authorization for Release of Information, and a Replacment Application.

    Days to process
    0
    new license

    Off-limit places in New Mexico for carrying a firearm

    Image Image

    Places listed as off limits apply even if you have a New Mexico license to carry.

    Note: New Mexico law states that a person may only carry ONE CONCEALED handgun at a time. You are permited to carry more than one handgun but only one can be concealed on your person. This law does not apply to handguns carried in vehicles.

    Off-limits

    • Public schools, colleges and universities, except in a vehicle if older than 19
    • Preschools
    • Law enforcement agency facilities
    • Courts, any State, County, Municipal or Tribal Court
    • State wild life management areas
    • Tribal land
    • Public buses
    • Airport security zones
    • On private property where the owner has posted signs indicating that you may not carry or if the owner tells you that you cannot
    • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

    Allowed

    • State parks
    • State and national forests
    • Road side rest areas
    • Vehicle
    • All areas of the state - excluding those listed as off limits

    New Mexico gun laws & statutes

    new mexico state capitol building
    New Mexico state capitol building

    Summary table

    SubjectHandgunsLong GunsNotes
    Carry permit requiredYes*No*You only need a permit to conceal carry, open carry is legal with no permit. Policy is Shall Issue but operates as a limited Unrestricted state.
    Purchase permit requiredNoNo
    Registration of firearmNoNo
    Open carry allowedYesYesNo permit required.
    Background checks on private gun sales requiredNoNo
    Magazine size restrictionNoNo

    Rating of gun laws

    Rates how friendly New Mexico gun laws are compared to other states.
    Good

    New Mexico gun laws you need to know

    Vehicle carry

    (With no pistol license)

    YES
    If you are not prohibited from possessing a firearm then the law in New Mexico allows a loaded, concealed firearm to be carried in a vehicle (includes motorcyles and bicycles) without a license to carry. When you exit the vehicle you cannot have the firearm concealed on your person, unless you have a license for that. 30.7.2 NMSA 1978

    Open carry

    (With no pistol license)

    YES

    Open carry without a license is legal and common in New Mexico.  There is full state premption on gun laws so no local authorities can stop a person from open carry. However, you will need a license to carry in liquor stores. The places listed in our off-limits section also apply to open carry.

    The minimum age for a person to open carry is 19.

    Must inform officer

    (On contact by law)

    NO

    There is no requirement in New mexico to inform law enforcement you are carrying a concealed firearm. The law does require you to have your license on you at all times when you are carrying a concealed firearm and to display that license to law enforcement if requested to do so.

    29.19.9 Possession of license
    10.8.2.16 D - Display of license

    State park carry

    NO
    It is illegal to carry in the following areas;
    • State Parks: YES - Admin code 19.5.2.21
    • State/National Forests: YES
    • State Wildlife Management Areas: NO - 17.2.12
    • Road Side Rest Areas:  YES

    No gun signs enforced

    YES

    No gun signs in New Mexico have the force of law. If posted they apply to private property and licensed liquor establishements.

    10.8.2.16 - Carry on private property
    30.7.3 - Carry in liquor establishments

    Restaurant carry

    YES

    It is legal to carry into a restuarant that only sells wine or beer and gets more than 60% of its annual receipts from the sale of food. If the restuarant has posted a "NO WEAPONS" sign then you will not be able to enter the premises. Also note that the law states "Wine or Beer" so it becomes illegal if you enter a restaurant that sells hard liquor.

    30.7.3 (A)(4)(b)

    Constitutional carry

    NO

    New Mexico does not have constitutional carry.

    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. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.
    Article II, section 6

    Off-limit statutes


    Other CCW statutes


    New Mexico licensing office

    Image
    New applications and renewals can be mailed to the address below or taken directly to the office.

    New Mexico Department of Public Safety
    Concealed Handgun Carry Unit

    Contact


    Address 6301 Indian School Rd NE Ste. 310

    CityAlbuquerque, NM 87110

    Phone (505) 841 -8053

    Email NMCC.Questions@state.nm.us

    Hours


    Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm

    Saturday Closed

    Sunday Closed


    Frequently asked questions on New Mexico gun laws


    The research

    Disclaimer

    The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research. It is up to you to decide what the best course of action is for your circumstances. We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some law practices with known firearm specializations. It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm. Also, remember that just because a statute may clearly say one thing or another, that doesn't mean all members of law enforcement know it. That also goes for lawyers and even judges too.

    Comments

    1. Not sure if this is the place to ask this but my husband is in a wheelchair and is loosing strength in his arms.
      First question is : Does he need a conceal carry licensees to carry in a pouch /bag while in his chair or is it considered an extension of the home
      Second question is: With the weakness in his arms he can shoot but we need to make adjustments to how he shoots and we are concerned he will not pass the Conceal carry shooting portion of the test. Are there exceptions for people like him?

      If you are unable to answer do you have a suggestion for someone who can answer?

    2. N.M. Code R. § 19.5.2.20(A).

      Section 19.5.2.21 – FIREARMS AND BOWS
      A. Visitors shall not possess firearms with a cartridge in any portion of the mechanisam except:
      (1) a legally licensed hunter during a designated hunting season and within park areas designated as open to hunting for the species the hunter is licensed to hunt;

      You list State Park carry as a yes. That is NOT correct. Please correct.

    3. Someone told me that, in New Mexico, you are not permitted to cover your face with a mask if you are carrying a firearm (either concealed or not concealed), and that if a licensed gun owner wore a mask for COVID-19, he/she would not be able to carry his/her firearm. Is this true?

      1. I just completed my second round of CC renewal and asked the instructor this question..she said no law written about this.. I did see in Minnesota the same question was brought up. The courts ruled it fine because the intent of the mask is to prevent covid not cover your face. Hope this helps!!

    4. Can I purchase a handgun from a shop and transport it via cab to my house? All I can find on NM laws is I cant carry it on a bus.

      1. As long as the cab doesn’t have signs saying you can’t have a gun on board, and the cab driver doesn’t tell you not to, you can actually carry it in its case in a backpack if you like, as long as it’s not loaded and you are carrying no ammunition.

        1. This is assuming you dont have your concealed carry license, of course. You can carry a concealed weapon without a license if its unloaded and you have no ammunition on you, as if you were merely transporting it, as you would be after your purchase.

    5. I bought a handgun privately in Wisconsin, do I need a background check to legally own it when I move to New Mexico in October? WI does not require background checks for private sales.

      1. Open is “Can be Seen” such as on yr hip belt clip w shirt tucked in , Concealed is covered up or hidden…. im sure someone has already told you but IF you dont know this answer —Dont go state to state w yr gun. Or go take a class so you learn it all correcty

    6. I will be in New Mexico for a horseback riding trip. Can I carry a loaded handgun in my saddle bag or would it have to be open carry on my person? Will be on both private ranch land and National Forest.

      1. In a saddle bag is considered concealed so you must have a CCW license.

        1. Would a horse not be a mode of transportation

        2. But you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in your vehicle would a horse be considered a vehicle? I don’t know the answer I’m wondering!

    7. I’m from illinois, have conceal carry card, when I travel to Arizona, can I have unloaded and separated ammo from gun and in seperate places so I cant get to gun while driving through new mexico?

      1. It would be easier just to open carry it if your license doesn’t reciprocate.

    8. Are online training courses considered legal and legitimate forms of firearms training course to obtain a concealed carry permit from the state? Or do you have to attend a weekend long class in person?

      1. You do have to attend a class for qualifying with your weapon.

    9. Private sales now require a background check in New Mexico, please update.

    10. I’m 19 so I can legally own a handgun right if so where would I buy one

      1. If you don’t know where to purchase one, maybe you shouldn’t buy one. Safely operating a firearm is more complex than finding where to buy one, so perhaps you should consider keeping society safer by not purchasing a firearm. Society thanks you!

        1. Stay in school and get an education. You only need to be 19 to purchase a handgun.

          1. You are both need to back to school, each state have their own laws, some 18, some 21. But I’ve never heard of 19.

    11. Can you be in possession of a firearm registered to someone else and can you be charged for possessing one?

      1. Firearms aren’t registered in New Mexico. As long as you are legally able to own a gun (i.e. no felony record, etc.) and you are carrying legally (concealed carry with a permit only, not in bars or restricted areas, etc.), and it’s not stolen or being used in a crime, then you certainly can be in possession of a firearm.

        1. In addition to Modz’s info, understand that the best way to avoid confusion and possible temporary or permanent loss of liberty should you ever be questioned about your firearm’s involvement in a crime you did not commit is to GET RECEIPTS! A good paper trail should be easy to obtain and might save your life.

    12. I just pulled into NM a lot of people are telling me I cannot carry or conceal in this state. I do have my CCW from AZ I am also an armed security guard what is the issue with this ?

      1. The issue with it is that people are misinformed. It’s best to look up the laws for yourself, especially pertaining to reciprocity so you dont inadvertently commit a felony.

    13. Do I need to have a background check to buy a pre 1890 handgun? They are not considered guns by the feds.

      1. As far as I know, pre-1890 and black powder arms do not require background checks.

    14. At a fast food restaurant I saw a guy with a gun. He told me he didn’t need a license to carry,we live new mexico,is this true?

      1. It is true. No license required for a person to carry a gun openly in New Mexico, however; felons are not permitted to own or carry a firearm at all and for anyone to conceal or hide their weapon on themselves outside vehicle or home they must have a concealed carry permit.

      2. It’s worth mentioning that if in the off chance the fast food restaurant serves liquor (Chipotle, for one), than no you cannot open carry there. Concealed carry with a permit is still ok.

      1. Yes you can open carry on or off your motorcycle in NM, since we’re an open carry state. What’s more, your bike is considered an extension of your home, so you can have it concealed on you or your bike. Keep in mind, that as soon as you step off your bike, you are now concealed carrying and need a license. Texas reciprocates with New Mexico, so you’re covered, open carry or concealed.

        1. You’re actually considered “inside your vehicle” within 6 feet of your bike. So, you can step off of it and still be good.

    15. I was just told in nm that it’s a class 4 felony to carry in places that sell not serve alcohol (walmart) in Gallup nm. Can someone clarify this I was escorted out of said walmart. They told me that they had a sign but as I walked in 1 door it was not visible it was on the door at the other entrance.

      1. They say if u can buy the alcohol and consume it some where else like walmart it is ok to open carry

      2. I believe the terminology is “sold for consumption on premises.” Meaning a place where you can not only buy but also drink it on that property. If there is a sign on the doors than it is at the establishments discretion. If they don’t want weapons on their property they have the right to make you leave. Also, if no sign is present all they have to do is tell you to leave. As long as you leave no charges can be made

    16. Right after the picture of the NM state capitol building…. “Maryland has some strict gun laws”

      What does Maryland have to do with NM?

    17. Over 10 years ago, I received a petty misdemeanor for battery against a household member. Because the courts were full that day, the DA was making quick plea deals and gave me 12 hours of community service so I took it instead of fighting it. Looking at one of the NM Gun Law requirements on misdemeanors such as mine, it looks like I’m screwed from every obtaining a CCW Permit. Is this true?

      1. Yes it is true. Not only can you not obtain a CCW license, but it is also illegal for you to own a firearm period.

        1. Sorry bro but that’s bullshit. Maybe you should fact check before you run your mouth. He said misdemeanor not felony. And just being charged with a felony doesn’t count. I know I’ve been charged with a lot some involving firearms. Thankfully nothing stuck and I’m still armed to the teeth. But my long litany of misdemeanor convictions has never prevented me from firearm purchases.

          1. Sorry bro, maybe you should fact check before you run your mouth. He said misdemeanor battery against a household member. That is the one misdemeanor that will keep you from owning a gun. It’s new Mexico law. You may even pass a background check and be able to purchase one, but you probably won’t pass a conceal carry license background check, and if you ever had to use it, you better believe the D.A. will hang you for that shit. I’m not advocating these laws, I disagree with almost all gun control, I just know them.

            1. Also, he said he said he took a quick plea deal for community service. Thats a convinction. Of course the DA was making deals, making it so citizens cant own firearms. You should have read the fine print. Know the laws and know your rights so they arent violated.

    18. Being from Utah coming to NM to pick up family, does the open carry apply to out of staters too??? I like to conceal carry, but NM law doesn’t allow….

    19. So , is open carry of a loaded firearm legal in mm? I am used to doing so on occasion in my home state

      1. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Make sure you are educated in firearm carry laws and are trained and fully competent to carry a pistol.
        I say this because anyone competently trained in the use of a firearm knows that conceal carry is the only way to seriously everyday carry. Open carry as a self defense method only makes you a target for would-be criminals.

    20. There are a lot of states listed on the map above that show reciprocity with New Mexico; however, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety says otherwise: https://www.dps.nm.gov/reciprocity There is NO reciprocity with: Utah, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, Alabama, Kentucky, Vermont, Wisconsin, Indiana, etc., etc. This information should be corrected. Thank you.

      1. Don’t look at the NM DPS website for reciprocity states. The website information is outdated and is definitely incorrect. They are trying to have it corrected but they have no idea when it will be done.
        Anthony Segura, NM DPS Concealed Carry Instructor #556

        1. Going from Az to NM with a Az concealed carry permit would I be legal to carry in New Mexico.

        2. Anthony ,I then went one step further and checked each state I planned to travel through plus uscca’s site map too!

        3. I’m from WA State and traveling through NM from Texas (flying to TX and driving back to WA). I read that I cannot conceal carry in NM. For clarity: Can I open carry as a non-resident in NM? It appears I can carry a loaded gun in the car. Correct? Thank you.

          1. Yes you can open carry and have a loaded firearm in your vehicle with no permit regardless of which state you are from.

            1. Further to that question, if I’m driving through NM tribal lands as a non-resident, can I have loaded or unloaded firearm in my car. Would not open carry on person.

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