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New Mexico Gun Laws

New Mexico Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, New Mexico’s gun laws have undergone significant changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to striking a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety considerations. From background checks to concealed carry, these developments showcase the state’s efforts to address evolving perspectives on firearm ownership. This article provides an overview of the key updates in New Mexico’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Agreements:

   – New Mexico enters into concealed carry reciprocity agreements with several states, allowing permit holders to carry across state lines.

2014 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

   – Strengthened reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

   – Aims to prevent firearm access by individuals with mental health concerns.

2015 – Background Checks for Private Sales at Gun Shows:

   – Legislation introduced to require background checks for all private firearm sales at gun shows.

   – Focuses on closing potential loopholes and ensuring comprehensive vetting.

2016 – Firearm Dealer Licensing:

   – Discussion of potential firearm dealer licensing requirements to enhance oversight of gun sales.

   – Aims to prevent illegal sales and regulate dealers.

2017 – Enhanced Penalties for Gun Trafficking:

   – Introduction of legislation enforcing stricter penalties for individuals involved in gun trafficking.

   – Intended to deter illegal firearm transfers and trafficking activities.

2018 – Firearm Storage Recommendations:

   – Guidelines introduced to promote responsible firearm storage practices, especially in homes with minors.

   – Aims to prevent unauthorized access and accidents.

2019 – Background Check Enhancements for All Firearm Sales:

   – Legislation introduced to require background checks for all firearm sales, including private transactions.

   – Strives to regulate access and prevent unauthorized sales.

2020 – “Red Flag” Law Enactment:

   – Adoption of “red flag” laws allowing family members and law enforcement to seek temporary firearm removal for individuals posing risks.

2021 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Consideration:

   – Discussion around the potential adoption of a “stand your ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense.

2022 – Concealed Carry Permit Reforms:

    – Review and potential reform of concealed carry permit requirements to ensure responsible firearm ownership.

2022 – Firearm Training and Safety Initiatives:

    – Introduction of initiatives promoting firearm safety education and training among gun owners.

    – Focuses on responsible practices and handling.

2023 – Mental Health Crisis Intervention Orders:

    – Strengthened “red flag” laws to enable more effective temporary firearm removal for individuals facing mental health crises.

2023 – Assault Weapons Ban Proposal:

    – Discussion of potential legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

    – Aims to address concerns about firearm violence.

2023 – School Safety Measures Consideration:

    – Exploration of legislation to enhance school safety through various measures, including armed personnel.

New Mexico’s gun laws have evolved significantly over the past decade, reflecting the state’s dedication to both preserving Second Amendment rights and ensuring public safety. These changes demonstrate New Mexico’s proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws, it remains important for stakeholders, policymakers, and the public to engage in informed discussions that prioritize individual rights while maintaining community security.

Like many states in the US, New Mexico possesses weak gun control laws with a few provisions in regards to concealed weapons. Based on the chart below, New Mexico can be regarded as containing the median restrictions and regulations for gun control laws in America.

State requirements for rifles and shotguns:

  No permit is necessary to purchase rifles or shotguns

  Registration of rifles and shotguns is not warranted

  License of ownership is not necessary

  there is no permit required under concealed carry laws to carry a rifle or shotgun

State requirements for handguns or pistols:

  No permit is necessary to purchase

  Registration is not warranted

  License of ownership is not necessary

  Under concealed carry laws a permit is necessary to conceal a handgun or pistol

According to concealed carry laws, New Mexico is a “shall issue” state for the right to carry concealed handguns. Along with being at least 21 years of age, an applicant for a concealed carry permit must provide proper documentation detailing residency within the state. Concealed carry laws require an applicant to complete a state approved training course that includes at least 15 hours of classroom time. The classes and the shooting instructional vary based on weapon and caliber. Unlike most states, New Mexico requires that the license holder pass the shooting proficiency test every two years. The process to carry concealed weapons takes roughly 3 months and the license is valid for 4 years.

New Mexico does not require a concealed weapons permit if an individual has a similar carrying permit of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

If a concealed weapons permit is valid, an individual will still face a few restrictions on where he/she is allowed to carry a handgun; these places include: Any federal buildings, schools, or restaurants that serve alcohol. Concealed carry laws in New Mexico are complex and detailed in regards to locations that sell alcohol. For instance, it is legal to carry concealed weapons in grocery stores or convenient stores that sell alcohol, but considered illegal if carried into a liquor store.

Concealed weapons which are unloaded can be carried legally in any establishment except those that sell alcohol. New Mexico also possesses an “extended domain law”, which renders one’s vehicle as an extension of the home. It is therefore, legal to carry a loaded, concealed weapon anywhere in a vehicle.

Typically speaking, a state’s interpretation of gun laws will not waver in terms of leniency between buyers and sellers. New Mexico is no exception. Distributors in the state have limited to no regulations based on the state’s gun control laws. Even with a precarious location (New Mexico borders Mexico), sellers are not required to be licensed, file sales reports with the state, nor are police inspections allowed of gun shops or trade shows. There are no limitations placed on bulk purchases, ammunition regulations, or background checks performed during purchase. There are no state waiting periods, ballistic filings, magazine bans, or even restrictions placed on assault rifles.

New Mexico faces a constant struggle between cultural history, crime statistics, and gun trafficking. With a cowboy image, sprawling deserts, and a conservative stance, guns have been woven into the state’s fabric. These lax policies towards concealed weapons and firearms has helped perpetuate a violent society. New Mexico is one of the most dangerous states in the US in regards to violent crime percentages. To make matters worse, the state’s casual regulations on dealers and distributors further augments gun trafficking across the Mexican border. Contact New Mexico lawyers for legal advice and assistance.