New Mexico generally prohibits people from carrying a concealed, loaded firearm outside their home, real property, or private automobile or other private conveyance without a license.1 This license is generally not required, however, for a person to carry a firearm on their own property or in a private vehicle for the purpose of lawful protection.2
New Mexico is a “shall issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement must generally issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant meets specified qualifications. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) must issue a license to an applicant who:
- Is a United States citizen;
- Is a New Mexico resident or member of the armed forces permanently stationed in New Mexico;
- Is 21 years of age or older;
- Is not a fugitive from justice;
- Is not a convicted felon or under a felony indictment;
- Is not otherwise prohibited by law 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.3
State law also explicitly provides that DPS “shall deny” a concealed handgun license to an applicant who has:
- Received a conditional discharge, diversion or deferment, or has been convicted or plead guilty or plead no contest to a misdemeanor involving a crime of violence within the preceding 10 years;
- Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while intoxicated in the preceding five years;
- Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving possession or abuse of a controlled substance within the preceding 10 years; or
- Been convicted of misdemeanor assault, battery, or battery against a household member.4
Firearm Safety Training
New Mexico requires that concealed handgun license applicants satisfactorily complete an approved firearms training course for the category and largest caliber of handgun the applicant desires to be licensed to carry concealed before DPS will issue a license.5
DPS prepares and publishes minimum standards for approved training courses, which must include classroom instruction, range instruction, and an actual demonstration by the applicant of his or her ability to safely use, at a minimum, a handgun of .32 caliber.6 A training course must not be less than 15 hours in length, and must provide instruction regarding:
- Knowledge of and safe handling of single- and double-action revolvers and semiautomatic handguns;
- Safe storage of handguns and child safety;
- Safe handgun shooting fundamentals;
- Live shooting of a handgun on a firing range;
- Identification of ways to develop and maintain handgun shooting skills;
- Federal, state and local criminal and civil laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of handguns;
- Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to control a violent confrontation; and
- Techniques for non-violent dispute resolution.
Approved training courses are those certified or sponsored by a federal or state law enforcement agency, a college, a firearms training school or a nationally recognized organization approved by DPS that customarily offers firearms training.7 Every instructor of an approved training course is required to file a copy of the course description and proof of certification with DPS annually.8
Duration & Renewal
Concealed handgun licenses are valid for four years from the date of issuance or renewal unless suspended or revoked.9 A license may be renewed anytime until 60 calendar days after the license expires, provided that the licensee completes a four-hour refresher firearms training course prior to filing the application, and pays a renewal fee.10
Disclosure or Use of Information
Information regarding the licensee received by DPS or any other law enforcement department is confidential and exempt from public disclosure in the absence of a court order to disclose the information.11 The information shall be made available by DPS to a state or local law enforcement agency upon request by that agency.12
DPS has discretionary authority to recognize concealed handgun licenses issued by other states under certain conditions.13 For a list of states whose concealed handgun licenses are recognized by New Mexico, visit DPS’s web site.
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- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2(A).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-4(A).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-4(B).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-4(A)(10).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-7(A).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-7(B).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-3.
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-6(F), (G).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-6(B).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-12(E). See also N.M. Code R. § 10.8.2.29 (reiterating this authority).