Ammunition Regulation in New Mexico

Restricting Locations Where Ammunition May be Possessed

New Mexico prohibits any person from bringing ammunition onto the grounds of the penitentiary of New Mexico or any other designated correctional institution,1 or any county or municipal jail.2 The state also prohibits any person from bringing ammunition into any juvenile detention or correctional facility.3

New Mexico does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Ensure that sellers of ammunition maintain records of the purchasers;
  • Require a license to purchase or possess ammunition;

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-22-14(A), (C)(1). ⤴︎
  2. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-22-14(B), (C)(1). ⤴︎
  3. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-22-14.1(A), (B)(1). ⤴︎

Background Checks in New Mexico

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

New Mexico is not a point of contact state for NICS. New Mexico has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background check prior to purchasing a firearm. In New Mexico, all firearms transfers by licensed dealers are processed directly through the FBI, which enforces the federal purchaser prohibitions referenced above.1

New Mexico does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. See our Private Sales policy summary.

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited Mar. 2012). ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in New Mexico

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

New Mexico is a “shall issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) must issue a license to an applicant who:

  • Is a United States citizen;
  • Is a New Mexico resident or member of the armed forces permanently stationed in New Mexico;
  • Is 21 years of age or older;
  • Is not a fugitive from justice;
  • Is not a convicted felon or under a felony indictment;
  • Is not otherwise prohibited by law 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.1

State law also explicitly provides that DPS “shall deny” a concealed handgun license to an applicant 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 preceding 10 years;
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while intoxicated in the preceding five years;
  • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving possession or abuse of a controlled substance within the preceding 10 years; or
  • Been convicted of misdemeanor assault, battery, or battery against a household member.2

New Mexico prohibits any person from carrying a concealed, loaded firearm outside his or her home, real property, or private automobile or other private conveyance without a license.3 This section does not apply, however, to a person who carries a firearm on her or his own property or to a person who carries a firearm in a private vehicle for the purpose of lawful protection.4

Firearm Safety Training

New Mexico requires that concealed handgun license applicants satisfactorily complete an approved firearms training course for the category and largest caliber of handgun the applicant desires to be licensed to carry concealed before DPS will issue a license.5

DPS prepares and publishes minimum standards for approved training courses, which must include classroom instruction, range instruction, and an actual demonstration by the applicant of his or her ability to safely use, at a minimum, a handgun of .32 caliber.6 A training course must not be less than 15 hours in length, and must provide instruction regarding:

  • Knowledge of and safe handling of single- and double-action revolvers and semiautomatic handguns;
  • Safe storage of handguns and child safety;
  • Safe handgun shooting fundamentals;
  • Live shooting of a handgun on a firing range;
  • Identification of ways to develop and maintain handgun shooting skills;
  • Federal, state and local criminal and civil laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of handguns;
  • Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to control a violent confrontation; and
  • Techniques for non-violent dispute resolution.

Approved training courses are those certified or sponsored by a federal or state law enforcement agency, a college, a firearms training school or a nationally recognized organization approved by DPS that customarily offers firearms training.7 Every instructor of an approved training course is required to file a copy of the course description and proof of certification with DPS annually.8

Duration & Renewal

Concealed handgun licenses are valid for four years from the date of issuance or renewal unless suspended or revoked.9 A license may be renewed anytime until 60 calendar days after the license expires, provided that the licensee completes a four-hour refresher firearms training course prior to filing the application, and pays a $75 renewal fee.10

Disclosure or Use of Information

Information regarding the licensee received by DPS or any other law enforcement department is confidential and exempt from public disclosure in the absence of a court order to disclose the information.11 The information shall be made available by DPS to a state or local law enforcement agency upon request by that agency.12

Reciprocity

DPS has discretionary authority to recognize concealed handgun licenses issued by other states under certain conditions.13 For a list of states whose concealed handgun licenses are recognized by New Mexico, visit DPS’s web site.

Notes
  1. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-4(A). ⤴︎
  2. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-4(B). ⤴︎
  3. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2(A). ⤴︎
  4. Id. An applicant for a concealed handgun license shall submit a non-refundable $100 application fee. N.M. Code R. § 10.8.2.12(G). Additional concealed handguns license application requirements, as well as license suspension and revocation information, are detailed under N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 29-19-4 – 29-19-7; N.M. Code R. §§ 10.8.2.7-15, 10.8.2.21, 10.8.2.26. ⤴︎
  5. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-4(A)(10). ⤴︎
  6. .M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-7(A). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-7(B). ⤴︎
  9. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-3. ⤴︎
  10. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-6(F), (G). ⤴︎
  11. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-6(B). ⤴︎
  12. Id. ⤴︎
  13. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-12(E). See also N.M. Code R. § 10.8.2.29 (reiterating this authority). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in New Mexico

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

New Mexico does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate dealers. For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in New Mexico

New Mexico does not specifically regulate junk guns or unsafe firearms. According to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), New Mexico’s Attorney General may have the authority to regulate junk guns, as well as promulgate other firearms safety standards.1

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 57-12-13. For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), available at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/targetingsafety.pdf. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in New Mexico

In New Mexico, a handgun possessed or transported by a person under age 19, in violation of state law prohibiting the knowingly possessing or transporting a handgun,1 is subject to seizure and forfeiture by law enforcement.2

New Mexico has no other laws requiring the surrender or removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2.2. ⤴︎
  2. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2.3. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Mexico

New Mexico does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms  policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.