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New Mexico Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in New Mexico


Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. 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.

Concealed Carry

New Mexico is a shall-issue state, meaning authorities are bound by law to issue concealed carry permits to all qualified applicants. Qualifications include persons at least 21 years old, successful completion of a handgun safety course and a background check. Permits are valid for four years at a cost of $100. However, requalification is required after two years.

In addition to the typical list of persons who are denied carry permits, which includes convicted felons or fugitives from justice, among others, New Mexico also denies permits to anyone convicted of a number of misdemeanors. Among them is any misdemeanor involving domestic violence, misdemeanors involving crimes of violence within 10 years, misdemeanors involving DUI within three years or misdemeanors involving drug abuse within five years.

New Mexico's concealed carry permits are honored by the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

New Mexico honors permits from the states of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.

Castle Doctrine

New Mexico does not have a law based on the castle doctrine, per se. However, the state’s self-defense statute does not require victims to retreat when they or their property come under attack. The law, which has been on the books since 1907, is somewhat vague. Courts have held in past rulings that deadly force must be merited; in other words, a landowner cannot justifiably shoot someone merely for trespassing on his property.

Pro-Gun Provisions

New Mexico permits the open carry of firearms in many circumstances. The state also has a preemption law that prevents municipal or county governments from enacting gun laws that are more restrictive than state law, and a range protection law that extends protection to gun ranges.


Gun bans: None.

Waiting periods for gun purchases: None.

License or permit to purchase guns: None.

Registration of guns: None.

Places in New Mexico where possession of guns is prohibited, with or without a carry permit, include:

  • Schools
  • Public properties where school-sanctioned events are taking place
  • Courthouses
  • Private establishments with signs posted prohibiting guns
  • Establishments that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption.
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