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New Mexico Open and Concealed Carry Law


This article is meant to take a look at New Mexico’s open and concealed carry laws so that you folks can get a better idea what is and is not legal in the state.

New Mexico protects the right to bear arms under Article II, Section 6 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. New Mexico requires a license to carry a concealed weapon on your person.

It is unlawful to carry a concealed loaded firearm anywhere. However this does not apply to: 1) carrying in a person’s residence or on real property belonging to him as an owner, lessee, tenant or licensee; 2) carrying in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance, for lawful protection of the person’s or another’s person or property; or 3) carrying by a peace officer in the lawful discharge of his duties; or 4) by a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license issued by the Department of Public Safety.

The Department of Public Safety shall issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant who:

  •  is a citizen of the United States;
  •  is a resident of New Mexico or is a member of the armed forces whose permanent duty station is located in New Mexico or is a dependent of such a member;
  •  is twenty-one years of age or older;
  •  is not a fugitive from justice;
  •  has 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;
  •  is 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;
  •  is not otherwise prohibited by federal law or the law of any other jurisdiction 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 approved by the department for the category and caliber of handgun that the applicant wants to be licensed to carry as a concealed handgun.

The following individuals are prohibited from carrying a weapon in New Mexico.

  • those younger than 21 years old
  • non-United States citizens
  • non-New Mexico residents
  • those convicted of or under indictment for a felony offense, or who have been convicted of certain crimes involving violence (including domestic crimes), drugs, or alcohol
  • fugitives from justice
  • people adjudicated as mentally incompetent or who have been committed to a mental institution
  • those addicted to alcohol or controlled substances, or
  • people prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

Now, there are certainly additional questions as well as more in-depth looks into such things as gun penalties and what public places do or do not allow concealed or open carry firearms. We will be going over those in specific articles, later on, due to the complexity of some of the situations. For right now, however, we have a wonderful FAQ page on our New Mexico site with a lot of helpful information.

If you have specific questions that you would like covered in future articles about New Mexico’s open carry laws, shoot us a comment below, and we will make sure to add them to future reports.


Information compounded from the NRA and New Mexico state legal texts.

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