Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.
New Mexico does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate dealers.
However, legislation enacted in 2019 generally requires unlicensed sellers of firearms (those who are not federally licensed firearm dealers) to arrange for a licensed dealer to conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser; this law restricts dealers from “unreasonably” refusing to conduct that background check for a specified fee.1
- Applicable to both licensed and unlicensed sellers of firearms, see the Universal Background Checks in New Mexico section;
- Governing how federally licensed firearms dealers conduct background checks on purchasers, see the Background Checks Procedures section;
- Requiring dealers to record or report records of firearm sales to law enforcement, see the Maintaining Records in New Mexico section.
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- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-7.1. Unlike some other states that have closed the background check loophole, however, this background check requirement applies only to “sales” of firearms, which includes transfers made for a fee or other consideration but not to other instances in which a person transfers ownership of a firearm.