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In 2019, New Mexico passed a law, effective July 1, 2019, that generally requires firearms sales to be subject to a background check.1 The law requires private sales to be processed through a licensed dealer who is required to conduct a background check on buyers under federal law.2

This requirement is subject to certain narrow exceptions, including the sale of antique firearms3 or sales between immediate family members.4

 See our Universal Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. 2019 NM SB 8.[]
  2. 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.

    New Mexico also prohibits any person from intentionally giving to another person in custody or confinement any deadly weapon without the express consent of the officer in charge. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-22-12(A).[]

  3. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-7.1(C)(3) (defining “firearm” to exclude “an antique firearm” within the definition of federal law, for the purposes of New Mexico law’s background check requirement).[]
  4. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-7.1(B). The law defines “immediate family member” to mean “a spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, nephew, first cousin, aunt or uncle.” N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-7.1(C)(4).[]