New Mexico allows the possession of firearms in different ways, within the territory of the state.

However, there are location restrictions and how to handle firearms according to state gun statutes.

This means that to open carry without infringing any of this law, you must be familiar with New Mexico gun laws.

New Mexico Gun Laws Summary

New Mexico issues concealed firearm licenses for the possession of guns in the state.

The authority that oversees this is the Department of Public Safety, and the state it a shall-issue state.

New Mexico does not issue a purchase permit to buy firearms in the state, but you must complete a criminal background check.

It is a misdemeanor offense to sell a firearm without completing background checks in New Mexico.

Non-residents of the state cannot apply for a New Mexico firearm license, but they can use a permit from another state that has a reciprocity agreement with New Mexico.

Is Open Carry Legal In New Mexico?

Yes. You must be at least nineteen years old without a state or federal restriction to make use of firearms before you can open carry in New Mexico.

Open Carry Laws In New Mexico

New Mexico is a permissive open carry state, and you do not need a permit or license to use a firearm openly in places that do not have restrictions.

The state does not restrict any type of firearm or ammunition. You can make use of large-capacity firearms and even antique guns.

To use machine guns or semi-automatic firearms, you must have a license and comply with federal regulations.

New Mexico Open Gun Laws Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoYou do not need a permit to open carry firearms in New Mexico.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoThere are no state requirements for you to register firearms meant for open carry in the state.
Assault weapon for open carry.YesYesNew Mexico permits the use of assault weapons and all types of ammunition
Magazine limitNoNoThe state does not have gun law about magazine limits
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredThere are no requirements to own any exclusive owner’s license.
Red flag lawYesYesNew Mexico is a red flag law state
Castle doctrine lawYesYesNew Mexico is a castle doctrine state with a stand your ground policy and no duty to retreat
Background check for private dealersYesYesPrivate dealer must complete a background check via federally licensed dealers
PreemptionYesYesNew Mexico preempts local gun laws in the state.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesYou need a concealed firearm permit to qualify for conceal carry in New Mexico.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you are with your license
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoNew Mexico prohibits open carry in schools, technical institutions, colleges, and universities.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In New Mexico?

New Mexico allows the possession of firearms and open carry in the following places:

  • Restaurants and bars: You can possess your firearms only in the restaurant area, except there is a prohibition to do so by the management of the place.
  • Personal vehicle: You can possess your firearm and open carry in a private car.
  • Roadside areas: You can open carry and use your firearms in roadside areas of the state.
  • Forests and parks: You can open carry with a license in forests and park areas of the state.
  • Worship place: You can open carry in places of worship except if there is a post prohibiting such.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In New Mexico?

You are prohibited from using firearms or open carry in the following parts of the state:

  • Schools: You cannot open carry in schools, colleges, and their facilities in the state.
  • Bars: You cannot open carry in bars that sell liquors aside from wine and beers, or a restaurant and bar venture where the alcohol accounts for a higher percentage of the income.
  • Under the influence: You cannot open carry or make use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other type of intoxicant.
  • Prisons: You cannot open carry or make use of your firearm in prisons, jails, correctional homes, or any other type of detention facility meant for juveniles.
  • Court homes: You cannot open carry in courts located in states, counties, or any municipality.
  • Wildlife management areas or game refuge: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in New Mexico wildlife areas or game refuges.
  • Tribal land. You cannot open carry in tribal land areas of the state.
  • Public transportation. You cannot possess a firearm in public transports of the state.
  • Private building: You cannot open carry or make use of firearms in private property or structures in the state, except you have the permission of the owner to do so.
  • Safety airport zones: You cannot open carry in security zones of an airport.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in areas prohibited by either state or federal laws.

FAQs About Open Carry New Mexico

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry in New Mexico that you should know:

Is It Compulsory That I Get A Permit Before Open Carry In New Mexico?

No. You do not need a state permit to open carry in New Mexico.

Do I Need A Permit To Concealed Carry In New Mexico?

Yes. You can only conceal carry in New Mexico if you have a state permit to do.

What Is The Age Requirement For Open Carry In New Mexico?

To open carry in New Mexico, you must be at least nineteen years old.

At What Age Can I Conceal Carry In New Mexico?

You must be at least twenty-one years to conceal carry in New Mexico.

What Is The Age Requirement To Apply For New Mexico Conceal Permit?

You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for the conceal firearm license, except you are a member of the United States Armed Forces, then you can be twenty-one years old.

Is New Mexico A Red Flag State?

Yes. A court of law can issue a risk protection order to anyone after receiving a petition from a law enforcement officer.

The protection order prohibits such a person from possessing, buying, and selling firearms in the state until the order elapses.

Can A Non-resident Apply For New Mexico Concealed Firearm Permit?

No. New Mexico firearm permit is only valid to residents of the state, military members posted to the state, and their dependents.

However, non-residents can open carry in New Mexico if they have a permit from a state that it reciprocates.

Is New Mexico A Constitutional Carry State?

No. New Mexico is not a constitutional state.

Does New Mexico Accept Open Carry Of Knives In The State?

You can only open carry knife types that are legal to own in New Mexico, in your car, or on a property that you own.

New Mexico prohibits weapons like switchblades, butterfly knives, dirks, daggers, etc.

Does New Mexico Permit Conceal Carry For Weapons In The State?

No. The state prohibits concealed carry of deadly weapons that can cause serious injuries.

Does New Mexico Restrict Any Type Of Firearm For Possession In The State?

No. It is not unlawful to possess assault weapons, large capacity firearms, and any other type of ammunition in the state.

The state allows licensed machine guns and semi-automatic firearms used in compliance with federal laws.

Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In New Mexico?

No. New Mexico does not issue purchase permits to buy firearms in the state.

Is Criminal Record Background Check Compulsory For Firearm Purchase In New Mexico?

Yes. There is a compulsory criminal record background check for everybody that wants to buy a firearm in New Mexico.

Even private dealers must complete the sale through a federally licensed dealer, except for the transfer of firearms between family members in the state.

For How Long Is New Mexico Concealed Firearm Permit Valid In The State?

The license is valid for four years, after which you have to apply for a renewal.

Do I Have A Duty To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In New Mexico?

No, no state law requires anyone to notify a law enforcement officer they come across, about their possession of a firearm.

Is Castle Doctrine Permitted In New Mexico?

Yes. A person under attack has no duty to retreat and can stand his or her grounds, especially if the attack is in a place he or she has lawful rights to be.

Is The Use Of Deadly Force Permitted In New Mexico During Self-defense?

Yes, you can make use of deadly force to protect yourself, or a third party, but you must be able to prove the following:

  • That the force used is to protect you from danger, serious bodily harm, or death.
  • That the force used was reasonable enough for the attack.
  • That you were not the initial aggressor of the situation.

Is Firearm Training A Requirement For Concealed Firearm Application In New Mexico?

Yes, you must complete a fifteen hours’ firearm training course that is approved by the state before you apply for a permit.

Renewal permits require another two hours’ retainer course.

Is Registration Of Firearms A Requirement In New Mexico?

No, the state statute does not mention anything about firearm registrations.

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In New Mexico

Some of New Mexico laws that relate to open carry in the state and how you should go about it include the following:

No Weapon Sign

New Mexico enforces the no carry weapon license in the state.

Therefore, it is unlawful for anyone to possess a firearm on properties that have a post and prohibits this, or when the owner of the property verbally says he or she does not want guns on the premises.

If you have a permit, then you can open carry in more places, like a restaurant and bar where alcohol generates more than half of annual income except there is a post prohibiting this or the manager of the site does not permit it.

Preemption Laws

New Mexico preempts gun laws in the state, and local municipalities and areas law are subject to the authority of the state government.

Brandishing Of Firearms

It is illegal to brandish firearms in such a way that threatens another person’s safety.

The state law also prohibits any act that can lead to battery or assault with a firearm, except if you are using the gun legally, or you are acting under self-defense.

Red Flag Law

New Mexico is a red flag law state, and this law took effect in May twenty-twenty.

The law allows enforcement officers to be able to file a petition against someone who needs a protection or restriction order.

If a court approves this order, then such a person will not be able to possess, buy, or sell firearms in the state until a judge lifts the injunction.

Possession Of Firearm Under The Influence

You cannot make use of your firearm while under the influence of alcohol in New Mexico.

This also includes while under the influence of drugs, intoxicants, or any other medication that can cause impairment.

Open Carry While Hunting

You can open carry while hunting if you have a license to engage in such activities.

Nobody can take part in hunting in New Mexico except he or she has the legal rights to do so, and it is during a hunting season in an area of the state permitted by the authority.

Also, nobody can make use of a firearm while hunting in the state except if the gun is an approved tool for that type of hunting.

You can also possess a firearm for bow hunting in the state, but it can only be used in the following ways:

  • You must not have any state prohibition or conviction to do so.
  • You must be at least twenty-one years old and have a concealed carry license to conceal firearms while hunting.
  • You must not use that firearm to take a game. It is only for self-defense during hunting. 

Additional Resources

New Mexico Gun Laws
New Mexico Concealed Carry Laws
New Mexico Gun Permit Laws

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