Concealed Handgun Carry FAQs

New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA) Chapter 19 Concealed Handgun Carry 29-19-4. Applicant qualifications. (2005)

A. The department shall issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant who:
(1) is a citizen of the United States;
(2) is a resident of New Mexico or is a member of the armed forces whose permanent duty station is located in New Mexico or is a dependent of such a member;
(3) is twenty-one years of age or older;
(4) is not a fugitive from justice;
(5) has not 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;
(6) is not 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;
(7) is not otherwise prohibited by federal law or the law of any other jurisdiction from purchasing or possessing a firearm;
(8) has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution;
(9) is not addicted to alcohol or controlled substances; and
(10) has satisfactorily completed a firearms training course approved by the department for the category and the largest caliber of handgun that the applicant wants to be licensed to carry as a concealed handgun.
B. The department shall deny a concealed handgun license to an applicant who has:
(1) 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;
(2) 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;
(3) been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance within ten years immediately preceding the application; or
(4) been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery or battery against a household member.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to include in my application for a Concealed Handgun Permit?
I understand that the Department of Public Safety has thirty days to issue my license from the time I submit my application, is this true?
When may I not carry a handgun?
How long is my license valid?
Does New Mexico honor any other State’s Concealed Carry Permits?
Can I drink alcohol while carrying?
Can an owner of private property prohibit me from carrying my concealed handgun on his premise?
How long does it take to issue a license?
How do I check on the status of my license?
Do I have to be licensed to have a concealed loaded handgun inside my vehicle?
If I have my gun holstered in “plain view” on my belt will I be breaking the law?
I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun. As far as licensed liquor establishments are concerned, where can I legally carry my firearm?
Is my out-of-state permit valid in place of a NM concealed carry license when I move to/live in New Mexico?
I recently moved and need to update information on my concealed carry license. What should I do?
Can I get my original birth certificate back if I bring it in or submit by mail with my application?
Can I carry concealed in New Mexico State Parks?
I have recently moved and need to submit a change of address for my concealed carry license. How do I do that?

Question: What do I need to include in my application for a Concealed Handgun Permit?
Answer: Complete Application consists of eight Items:

1) Complete two-page application
2) Photocopy of New Mexico Driver License of ID
3) $100.00 fee ($44 for the background check + $56 for the application fee)
4) Certified Original Birth Certificate**
5) Training Certificate
6) Electronic Fingerprint Background Check
7) Health Information Release Form
8) Authorization for Release of Information

** Photocopies and/or Notarized copies will not suffice. If you would like your Birth Certificate returned include a self-addressed, stamped envelope in your packet.

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Question: I understand that the Department of Public Safety has thirty days to issue my license from the time I submit my application, is this true?
Answer: No. Pursuant to Subsection A of NMSA 29-19-6, the department has thirty days after receiving a completed application and completing a background investigation, to either issue a license or deny the applicant. It could take up to ninety (90) days or more to complete a background investigation. Top of Page

Question: When may I not carry a handgun?
Answer: In New Mexico, licensees can only carry one concealed handgun at any time. It is legal to carry more than one firearm. However, only one firearm may be concealed on your person at a time. This restriction does not apply to firearms carried in your vehicles, on or off your person. You may NOT carry a handgun, openly or concealed, in:

  • Schools…except in vehicle if older than 19 (30-7-2.1 NMSA 1978, fourth degree felony)
  • University Premises…except in vehicle if older than 19 (30-7-2.4 NMSA 1978 petty misdemeanor)
  • Preschools (29-19-8 NMSA 1978)
  • Courts (29-19-11 NMSA 1978, without the consent of the presiding judge) Court means: any Federal, State, County, Municipal, or Tribal Court;
  • Tribal Land (29-19-10, NMSA, unless authorized by the governing body of the tribe or pueblo)
  • Public buses (30-7-13 NMSA 1978, misdemeanor)
  • Airport security zones
  • Federal Properties…Military Bases, Courthouse, etc.
  • National Parks and National Wildlife Management Areas are OK if you have a NM Permit/License to Carry or a Permit/License valid in New Mexico.
  • On private property where the owner has posted signs indicating that you may not carry or if the owner tells you that you cannot

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Question: How long is my license valid?
Answer: Concealed handgun licenses are valid for a period of four years from the date of issue, unless the license is suspended or revoked. There is a requalification requirement at two years. Top of Page

Question: Does New Mexico honor any other State’s Concealed Carry Permits?
Answer: Agreements about honoring CCW Permits in other states can be found on the Reciprocity Agreements web page. Top of Page

Question: Can I drink alcohol while carrying?
Answer: No. Pursuant to NMSA 1978 Section 30-7-4, no person shall carry a concealed handgun while impaired by the use of alcohol, controlled substances, or over-the-counter or prescribed medications. 10.8.2.16 NMAC, TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LICENSE reads: B. Consumption of alcohol prohibited. No person shall consume alcohol while carrying a concealed handgun. Top of Page

Question: Can an owner of private property prohibit me from carrying my concealed handgun on his premise?
Answer: Yes. Pursuant to Subsection C of NMSA 1978 Section 29-19-12, any person lawfully in possession of private property may prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns on such private property by posting notice in accordance with NMSA 1978 Section 30-14-6 or by verbally notifying persons entering upon the property. Top of Page

Question: How long does it take to issue a license?
Answer:On average, it takes approximately eight to twelve weeks to complete a background investigation before we can process the final license applications. Top of Page

Question: How do I check on the status of my license?
Answer: An applicant may contact the Special Investigations Division by telephone or e-mail to inquire on the status of their application. Agents may provide the information to the applicant after the applicant has supplied sufficient identifiers such as address, social security number, DOB, etc. However, if at any time there is a problem with your application, a letter will be sent to your provided mailing address detailing the situation. Top of Page

Question: Do I have to be licensed to have a concealed loaded handgun inside my vehicle?
Answer: No. New Mexico law allows a person who is not otherwise prohibited to have a concealed loaded firearm in his/her vehicle (including motorcycles and bicycles). If you are not licensed to carry concealed in this State or in a state that NM recognizes, you may not have the weapon concealed on your person when you exit your vehicle or motorcycle. Top of Page

Question: If I have my gun holstered in “plain view” on my belt will I be breaking the law?
Answer: New Mexico is an Open Carry State, meaning it is legal to carry a loaded weapon as long as it is not concealed. However, it is not legal to carry any firearm in any federal building or school. It is the responsibility of the person carrying the firearm to be informed as to when/where carrying is prohibited. Top of Page

Question: I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun. As far as licensed liquor establishments are concerned, where can I legally carry my firearm?
Answer: As of July 1, 2010, 30-7-3 NMSA a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun in New Mexico is allowed to legally carry into a licensed liquor establishment that DOES NOT sell alcohol for consumption on the premise. Further a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun in New Mexico is allowed to carry into a restaurant licensed to sell only beer and wine that derives no less than sixty percent of its annual gross receipts from the sale of food for consumption on the premises, unless the restaurant has a sign posted, in a conspicuous location at each public entrance, prohibiting the carrying of firearms, or the person is verbally instructed by the owner or manager that the carrying of a firearm is not permitted in the restaurant. Please read and ensure that you thoroughly understand above-referenced statute.
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Question: Is my out-of-state permit valid in place of a NM concealed carry license when I move to/live in New Mexico?
Answer: As of December 2008, the answer is “yes” (as long as it is from a state that NM recognizes). However, there may soon be legislation passed requiring NM residents who want to carry concealed to obtain a NM concealed carry license. Top of Page

Question: I recently moved and need to update information on my concealed carry license. What should I do?
Answer: You are required to notify the Department of this change. Please review 10.8.2.19 NMAC (Rules and Regulations) and submit the outlined paperwork. Top of Page

Question: Can I get my original birth certificate back if I bring it in or submit by mail with my application?
Answer: Yes, you can. If you walk-in your application we will make and retain a copy of your original. If you mail in your application, provide a SASE and we will return the original to you via USPS. The Department, however, is not responsible for anything returned via SASE at your request. Top of Page

Question: Can I carry concealed in New Mexico State Parks?
Answer: Yes. Go to: http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmac/ and review 19.5.2.21 NMAC Top of Page

Question: I have recently moved and need to submit a change of address for my concealed carry license. How do I do that?
Answer: Complete the Concealed Handgun License/Replacement Card Application and submit to NM Department of Public Safety, SID/Concealed Carry Unit, 6301 Indian School Rd. NE Suite 310, Albuquerque, NM 87110 Top of Page