Concealed Carry State Laws In New Mexico
Concealed carry laws, or CCW’s, in New Mexico refers to the legally issued permit which allows for the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner within any place open to the general public.
Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry state laws in New Mexico are lethal, there are some states that regulate non-lethal items such a pepper spray that are carried over a set volume requiring the obtaining of a CCW permit. (In some states non-lethal items require a separate permit)
Every State's Concealed Carry Laws Are Unique In New Mexico
While in New Mexico there is no current federal law that specifically address the issuance of concealed carry permits for private citizens as each state is responsible for the control of concealed carry permits within its sovereign borders. All 50 states have passed laws allowing their respective residents to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from their local Sheriff’s office or Chief of police.
In all states and in New Mexico the only federal law concerning CCW’s is the Peace Officer Safety Act of 2004, (H.R. 218) to lean about this and all other states Concealed Carry Laws see our database on our website US Precision Defense where we maintain a comprehensive listing of every States weapons laws.
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New Mexico’s state constitution states: “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.”
New Mexico has state preemption of firearms laws, so local governments may not restrict the possession or use of firearms. In 1986, Article 2, Section 6 of the state constitution was amended to say, "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."
New Mexico is a "shall issue" state for the concealed carry of handguns, and permits the open carry of loaded firearms. An applicant for a concealed carry permit must be a resident of New Mexico and at least 21 years of age. Each permit specifies the category and caliber of handgun that may be carried, but is also valid for a smaller caliber. The applicant must complete a state approved training course that includes at least 15 hours of classroom and firing range time, and must pass a shooting proficiency test for that category and caliber of handgun. A permit is valid for four years, but license holders must pass the shooting proficiency test every two years.
When it comes to gun control advocates in New Mexico they sometimes forget the state is largely rural state, where old Hispanic families have hunted, ranched and farmed the mountain valleys and mesas since Spanish settlers first arrived in the 1500s, efforts to restrict firearms have been viewed warily. New Mexico is a place where you can bring your gun almost anywhere. You can even carry your weapon openly in the Capitol, if you wish — one of only a few states that allow open or concealed carry in their statehouses.
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.
New Mexico, with its Wild West history, is not known as a hotbed of anti-gun sentiment. So the fate of a new legislative proposal to close the infamous "gun show loophole," that exempts from background checks people who buy guns from "private sellers" as opposed to licensed gun dealers, may be an interesting bellwether for the fate of such legislation in Washington.
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.
New Mexico law allows a person to have a concealed loaded firearm in his or her vehicle (including motorcycles and bicycles). If you are not licensed to carry concealed in this State, you may not have the weapon concealed on your person when you exit your vehicle or motorcycle.
New Mexico is an Open Carry State, meaning it is legal to carry a loaded weapon as long as it is not concealed. However, it is not legal to carry any firearm in any federal building, school, state building, or licensed liquor establishment. It is the responsibility of the person carrying the firearm to be informed as to when and where carrying is prohibited.
Pursuant to Subsection C of NMSA 1978 Section 29-19-12, any person lawfully in possession of private property may prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns on such private property by posting notice in accordance with NMSA 1978 Section 30-14-6 or by verbally notifying persons entering upon the property. Learn more about New Mexico’s CCW laws on our website, US Precision Defense