New Mexico’s hate and gun laws have significant gaps that allow people to keep and access guns, including assault weapons, after they have been convicted of violent hate crimes.
Access to Guns for People Convicted of Hate Crimes in New Mexico
|Violence with Severe Bodily Injury||Violence with Bodily Injury||Other Crimes Involving Intentional Use of Force||Threats with Deadly Weapons|
Other Credible Threats to Physical Safety
|Federal Law||Very limited or no access||Some access||Significant access||Very limited or no access|
|State Law||Very limited or no access||Some access||Significant access||Very limited or no access|
New Mexico law generally authorizes judges to impose extended prison sentences when it is proven a person committed a hate-motivated felony based on a victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, handicapped status, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.1 (Disability and ethnicity are not included as protected categories). However, state law does not provide extended sentences for misdemeanor hate crimes and does not otherwise treat hate-motivated misdemeanors more severely.2
Federal law generally prohibits people from accessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony punishable by over one year in prison, or a state law misdemeanor punishable by more than two years.3 In New Mexico, misdemeanors, including hate crimes, are not punishable by more than one year in prison,4 so hate crime offenders are only subject to federal firearm restrictions if they are convicted of felonies.
State law in New Mexico prohibits people from accessing firearms for 10 years after completing a sentence or probation for a felony, and more permanently if they are convicted of stalking (or certain domestic violence misdemeanor offenses).5New Mexico does not prohibit people convicted of violent hate crime misdemeanors from accessing guns for any period of time.
New Mexico generally classifies violent crimes as felonies if they involve likelihood of “great bodily harm”6 or violence or threats with a deadly weapon.7 However, people convicted of many other hate-motivated assault and battery offenses have nearly unrestricted access to guns,8 including those convicted of violently causing a victim to suffer “painful temporary disfigurement or temporary loss or impairment of the functions of [a bodily organ].”9
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- N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 31-18B-3(A)-(B); 31-18B-2(D) (defining the term “motivated by hate”). In cases where it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that a person committed a crime motivated by hate, New Mexico law requires courts to include that determination in the judgmentjudgement or sentence, pursuant to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 31-18B-3. State law also requires DAs and state and local law enforcement to collect and report data regarding hate crimes to the FBI “to the maximum extent possible.” N.M. Stat. Ann. § 31-18B-4.
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 31-18B-3(D).
- 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1); 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20)(B).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-1-6(B)-(C); 31-19-1.
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-16(A), (E)(3), (E)(5).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-3-5(C) (felony “Aggravated battery”).
- Id.;N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-3-2 (felony “Aggravated assault”); 30-3A-3.1 (felony “Aggravated stalking”).
- E.g., N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-3-1 (petty misdemeanor “Assault”); 39-3A-4 (petty misdemeanor “Battery”).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-3-5(B) (misdemeanor “Aggravated battery”).