Federal law establishes a baseline national standard regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms. Under federal law, people are generally prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony or some domestic violence misdemeanors, or if they are subject to certain court orders related to domestic violence or a serious mental condition. However, federal law merely provides a floor, and has notable gaps that allow individuals who have demonstrated significant risk factors for violence or self-harm to legally acquire and possess guns.
Under state law, New Mexico prohibits people who have been convicted of felonies from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm within ten years of completing a sentence or probation.1 New Mexico also prohibits any person under age 19 from knowingly possessing or transporting a handgun.2
New Mexico also enacted legislation in 2019 to permanently prohibit some people who have been convicted of domestic violence or stalking crimes, or who are subject to active domestic violence protective orders, from accessing firearms.3 For more information about these laws, see the Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Mexico page.
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