New Mexico

“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.”


New Mexico is a shall-issue state. There is no permit or firearms registration required when buying from a private individual. However, background checks are required for private sales. Open carry is legal without a permit at 19. A New Mexico Concealed Handgun License (CHL) is required to carry a concealed firearm. The minimum age is 21. New Mexico recognizes permits from states with reciprocity agreements. Although there is no statute establishing the Castle Doctrine, a ruling in State v. Couch stated, “A person who is threatened with an attack need not retreat. In the exercise of his [or her] right of self-defense, he [or she] may stand [one’s] ground and defend himself [or herself].” 

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, New Mexico will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes New Mexico‘s license.

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with New Mexico and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

You must have your License/Permit with You at all times when You carry a concealed firearm in New Mexico. Upon demand from a LEO, You must display Your license.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

New Mexico law allows a person who is not otherwise prohibited to have a concealed, loaded firearm in his/her vehicle (including motorcycles and bicycles). If You are not licensed to carry concealed in New Mexico or in a state that New Mexico recognized, You may not have the weapon concealed on Your person when you exit Your vehicle or motorcycle.

NFA Items

New Mexico permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal.

Self-Defense Laws

New Mexico has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, unlawful action against You or Your family, or the commission of a forcible felony.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

A person may carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, but only if you have a License/Permit and only into a restaurant licensed to sell only beer and wine that derives no less than 60% of its annual gross receipts from the sale of food for consumption on the premises, unless the restaurant has a sign posted that prohibits the carrying of firearms, or You are verbally instructed by the owner or manager that carrying of a firearm is not permitted in the restaurant.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

Licensees may not carry a concealed handgun on or about their person on private property that has signs posted prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons or when verbally told so by a person lawfully in possession of the property. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal and common in New Mexico. New Mexico Code states that only a person with a valid Concealed Firearms License can carry into any establishment that dispenses alcohol. So open carry would be prohibited into any place that sells any alcohol for consumption off the premises without a valid license. This would include any store that sells alcohol, such as Walmart. The minimum age for open carry is 19.

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However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

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