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Know the Laws: New Mexico

UPDATED May 5, 2016

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Below is information about state gun laws in New Mexico.  A restraining order or criminal conviction may make it illegal for an abuser to have a gun.  However, in addition to these state-specific laws, there are also federal gun laws that could apply.  To fully understand all of the legal protections available, it is important that you also read the Federal Gun Laws pages.

Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. Please click on the NM Where to Find Help page to find domestic violence organizations and lawyers in your area. 

Guns and Criminal Convictions

back to topIf the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?

New Mexico state law says that a person cannot get a concealed handgun license if s/he has been convicted of any of the following crimes:

  • s/he received a conditional discharge, a diversion or a deferment or has been convicted of, pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor offense involving a crime of violence within ten years immediately preceding the application;
  • s/he has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs within five years immediately preceding the application for a concealed handgun license;
  • s/he has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance within ten years immediately preceding the application;
  • s/he has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery or battery against a household member;
  • s/he has been convicted of a felony in New Mexico or any other state or pursuant to the laws of the United States or any other jurisdiction; 
  • s/he is currently under indictment for a felony criminal offense in New Mexico or any other state or pursuant to the laws of the United States or any other jurisdiction; or
  • s/he is a fugitive from justice.*

In addition, under federal law (which applies to all states), if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor, s/he cannot have or buy a gun.**   To learn more, go to our Federal Gun Laws page.

* N.M.S.A. § 29-19-4(A),(B)
** 18 USC § 922(g)(9)

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back to topHow can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?

Misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access.  If you know the exact courthouse where the abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records.

Federal law specifically prohibits possession of a firearm if the person is convicted of any felony or of a domestic violence misdemeanor. Criminal records that would make a person ineligible to purchase a firearm are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NICS.  Your local police department may be willing to search NICS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.

To read more about the NICS, please see the question, What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?

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