New Mexico Gun Laws: Concealed Carry Restrictions?

States gun laws restrict the sale, ownership and use of firearms, and they vary from state to state. New Mexico is a “shall issue” state with a concealed carry license that’s issued to residents only.

The New Mexico gun laws are fairly liberal compared to other states as it allows a person from another state to transfer their handgun license into a New Mexico license provided the conceal carry laws in the other state are similar to New Mexico’s.

A license is required for concealed carry whereas open carry is legal without a carry license.

Summary of New Mexico Gun Laws in 2022

The shall-issue New Mexico state issues concealed weapons licenses at the state level by the Department of Public Safety. The state does not require any permit or firearms registration when purchasing a handgun from a private individual.

However, background checks are necessary. Under this law, it is a crime to sell a gun without running a background check through a licensed federal firearms dealer. A background check is not necessary for sales between law enforcement officers or immediate family members.

New Mexico allows open carry of firearms without a license for anyone 19 years old and above who is permitted to possess a firearm legally. Despite that, the state does have a few off-limit areas where you’re not allowed to carry a gun with or without a permit, including tribal land and places that sell hard liquor.

Concealed Handgun License (CHL) is required for residents to carry a concealed weapon. Non-residents can also practice concealed carry provided that they have a valid permit from a state that New Mexico honours.

The CHL limits the number of concealed guns on a person to one at any given time as well as the category and caliber permitted. In order to get the permit, the applicant must be 21 years old and above and have undergone a 15-hour handgun safety course with live-fire instruction included.

Unfortunately, New Mexico does not issue non-resident licenses except to members of the military that have permanent duty stations in New Mexico. Additionally, New Mexico does not require a license for open carry or concealed carry of a loaded or unloaded firearm in a vehicle.


There’s no specific statute in New Mexico establishing it as a Castle Doctrine, but a 1946 state supreme court ruling in State v. Couch stated that “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].”

According to the New Mexico law, the use of deadly force is justifiable when committed in any of the following cases:

  • When deadly force is a necessary defense of his or her life, family, a third party, or property.
  • When committed in lawful defense of himself or herself or of another person provided that there is reasonable ground to believe that a design exists to commit a felony or to deliver great personal injury, and there is imminent danger.

When committed to lawfully attempting to apprehend a person for a felony, suppressing any riot or keeping and preserving the peace.

The person who uses deadly force in self-defense must prove that he or she was placed in reasonable fear of immediate death or great bodily harm, has used a reasonable amount of force to avoid the threat, and has not been the one to instigate the encounter.

New Mexico Gun Laws Information

Does New Mexico allow constitutional carry?

No, New Mexico does not allow constitutional carry of handguns.

Am I permitted to open carry in New Mexico?

Yes, any person who is 19 years old and above can legally keep and bear arms in New Mexico.

What is the minimum age to get a concealed loaded firearm license?

The minimum age to practice concealed carry is 21 years old in New Mexico.

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in New Mexico?

Yes, it is legal to purchase and own stun guns and tasers without a license in New Mexico.

Does New Mexico have restrictions on handgun magazine capacity?

No, New Mexico does not have handgun magazine capacity restrictions.

Does New Mexico have restrictions on ammunition?

No, New Mexico does not have restrictions on ammunition.

Firearm Carry Locations

Can I carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle?

Yes, you can conceal carry a handgun in your vehicle without a license if you’re at least 19 years old and above.

Can I carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas?

Yes, you can conceal carry a firearm at roadside rest areas with a New Mexico Concealed Handgun License or valid permit.

Can I carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests, and Wildlife Management Areas in New Mexico?

Yes, you can conceal carry a handgun in state/national parks and forests with a concealed pistol license. However, you cannot carry to Wildlife Management Areas.

Can I carry concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol?

Yes, you may conceal carry in restaurants licensed to sell only beer and wine that derive no less than 60% of their annual gross receipts from sale of food with a New Mexico CHL. Firearm carry is not permitted in bars or restaurants that serve hard liquor.

Can I carry or possess a handgun on hotel property?

A home and business owner has the legal right to forbid firearms on their property and/or buildings with appropriate signage displayed stating such prohibition.

New Mexico Key State Laws

Do I have a duty to inform a police officer that I’m conceal carrying a firearm?

No, New Mexico does not impose a duty to inform a law enforcement agency that you’re carrying a concealed firearm.

Is the New Mexico carry license linked to a driver’s license?

Yes, the valid concealed handgun license is linked to your driver’s license and a law enforcement officer will be notified immediately that you are a conceal carry permit holder if they run your driver’s license.

Are “No Weapons Allowed” signs enforced in New Mexico?

Yes, the state enforces “no weapons allowed” signs. A licensee may not carry a concealed handgun on or about them on private property with signs prohibiting the carry of concealed weapons posted.

Does New Mexico have pre-emption laws related to concealed carry?

Yes, New Mexico has preemption of firearm laws.

Does New Mexico have a red flag law?

Yes, New Mexico has a red flag law that took effect in May 2020 that allows law enforcement officers to file a petition ordering the respondent to surrender all firearms they control, own, or possess.

Does New Mexico state law define brandishing?

No, New Mexico state law does not define brandishing. However, it is illegal to endanger the safety of another by handling or using a firearm or other deadly weapon in a negligent manner.

Does New Mexico have laws regarding conceal carry while using alcohol or drugs?

Yes, New York does not allow conceal carry while consuming alcohol or while the person is impaired by the use of alcohol, controlled substances, or over-the-counter or prescribed medications.

Conceal Carry License Application Information For New Mexico

The applicant for a New Mexico carry license must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a Permanent Resident;
  • Have completed a firearms training course (except for members of the military who have been honorably discharged within 20 years);
  • Be a resident of New Mexico or a member of the united states armed forces whose is permanently stationed in New Mexico;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice;
  • Not have been convicted for a felony
  • Not have been adjudicated mentally incompetent or have been committed to a mental institution;
  • Not be addicted to alcohol or controlled substances;
  • Not have received a conditional discharge, a diversion or a deferment, or have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense for a crime of violence;
  • Not been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs;
  • Not been convicted of a misdemeanor offence for possession or abuse of a controlled substance;
  • Not been convicted of a misdemeanor offence involving assault, battery, or domestic license;
  • Meet federal law requirements.

Fees: $100 (New), $75 (Renewal)

Validity: 4 years. License holders must complete a 2-hour refresher firearms training course 2 years after issuance of license.

Processing time: 30 days.


Concealed Carry License Application Process

Step 1: Complete the firearms training course.

Step 2: Submit fingerprints.

Step 3: Download application form.

Step 4: Complete application and prepare the following documents:

  • Certified original copy of your birth certificate issued by vital statistics in the state where you were born (no photocopies)
  • Copy of certificate of firearms training completion
  • Copy of New Mexico driver’s license or identification card
  • Release forms and any other supporting documentation.

Step 5: Send application and supporting documents to

NM Department of Public Safety
SID/Concealed Carry Unit
6301 Indian School Road NE, Suite 310
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Step 6: Wait for notification on application status.

Concealed Carry Handgun License Renewal Process

Step 1: A handgun license can be renewed 60 days before or after the expiry date.

Step 2: Attend a class with a certified concealed carry weapons (CCW) class that includes classroom time and range qualification.

Step 3: Download the application form.

Step 4: Complete the application and prepare the following documents

  • Photocopy of your driver’s license or identification card
  • Certificate of completion of firearms training
  • Electronic fingerprints or 2 fingerprint cards (if not supplied previously)

Step 5: Send application and supporting documents to

NM Department of Public Safety
SID/Concealed Carry Unit
6301 Indian School Road NE, Suite 310
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Step 6: Wait for notification on application status.

Firearms Training Requirements

Concealed handgun permit applicants are required to complete an approved firearms safety training course for the category and largest caliber of handgun that the applicant is applying a license for.

The New Mexico Dept of Public Safety (DPS) prepares and publishes the minimum standards required for the training course, including classroom instruction, range instruction and an actual demonstration by the applicant with a .32 caliber handgun.

The training course must be more than 15 hours in length and must provide the following instruction:

  • Safe handling and knowledge of single and double-action revolvers and semi-automatic handguns
  • Safe storage of handguns and child safety
  • Safe shooting fundamentals
  • Live shooting on a firing range
  • Identification of ways to develop and maintains hooting skills
  • Federal, state and local criminal and civil laws
  • Techniques for avoiding criminal attack and how to control a violent confrontation
  • Techniques for non-violent dispute resolution.

Conceal Carry Location Restrictions in New Mexico

Places you can carry a concealed firearm 

  • Bars and restaurants licensed to sell only beer and wine.
  • Vehicle without license/permit.
  • Roadside rest areas
  • Establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption (grocery store, liquor store, convenience store)

Places you cannot carry a concealed firearm

  • Public schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Public school buses.
  • Establishments licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages other than beer or wine.
  • Anywhere while under influence of alcohol or drugs including certain prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • All New Mexico state Capitol building
  • Albuquerque city parks and recreation facilities
  • Designated child-detention or correctional facilities
  • Correctional facilities, jails
  • State, county, municipal or tribal court.
  • State wildlife management areas/game refuges
  • Tribal land
  • Pubic buses
  • Private property with posted signs indicating you cannot carry.
  • Airport security zones
  • Any place prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

New Mexico Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

  • Alaska
  • Arizona (at least 21 years old)
  • Arkansas (at least 21 years old)
  • Colorado
  • Delaware (at least 21 years old)
  • Florida (handguns only)
  • Idaho (at least 21 years old)
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi (at least 21 years old)
  • Missouri (at least 21 years old)
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada (at least 21 years old)
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota (at least 21 years old)
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma (at least 21 years old)
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee (at least 21 years old)
  • Texas (at least 21 years old)
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia (at least 21 years old)
  • Wyoming (at least 21 years old)

Other States’ Reciprocity With New Mexico

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • Montana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

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