What is the penalty for violating state and federal firearm laws?
If someone who has been convicted of a felony is in possession of a gun, s/he could be committing a felony in the third or fourth degree, depending on whether or not s/he has previously been convicted of a capital felony or certain serious violent offenses. The punishment for a felony in the fourth degree is up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. The punishment for a felony in the third degree is up to three years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.1
However, if ten years have passed since the person completed serving his/her sentence or period of probation for the felony, then this New Mexico state law may not apply because s/he may no longer be considered a “felon” in possession of a gun.2 It would still be illegal under federal law, however, for a convicted felon to possess a firearm no matter how much time has passed since the person completed serving his/her sentence.
It can also violate federal law for someone to have a gun when there is a protection order against him/her. For more information, see our Federal Gun Laws page.
1 N.M.S.A. §§ 30-7-16(A), (B); 31-18-15(A)(11), (A)(13), (E)(11)
2 N.M.S.A. § 30-7-16(C)(3)(a)