Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a New Mexico Concealed Handgun License (CHL) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

New Mexico is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons licenses issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety. Shall-issue means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law.

A New Mexico Concealed Handgun License (CHL) is required for residents, and a permit from a state that New Mexico honors is required for non-residents to carry a concealed loaded firearm on foot. State law limits concealed carry license holders to carrying one concealed firearm at any given time. In addition, CHLs identify the category and caliber of concealed handgun that may be carried. The minimum age is 21 years old.

Open carry is legal in New Mexico without a license for anyone at least 19 years of age who can legally possess a firearm. Some areas are off-limits, including tribal land and places that sell hard liquor. In terms of reciprocity, New Mexico recognizes permits from states with reciprocity agreements.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in New Mexico?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a Permanent Resident Alien (although not reflected in state statutes, we have been informed by Permanent Resident Aliens that they were able to obtain their New Mexico Concealed Handgun License)
  • Complete a firearms training course (military service person’s discharged from military service within 20 years are exempt)
  • Be a resident of New Mexico or a member of the armed forces whose permanent duty station is located in New Mexico
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Not have been convicted of or under indictment for a felony
  • Not have been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution
  • Not be addicted to alcohol or controlled substances
  • Satisfactorily complete a firearms training course
  • Not have:
    • Received a conditional discharge, a diversion or a deferment, or been convicted of, pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor offense involving a crime of violence within the 10-year period preceding application
    • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs within 5 years immediately preceding the application for a concealed handgun license
    • Been convicted within the 10-year period preceding application of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance; or
    • Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery or battery against a household member
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in New Mexico?

Yes. New Mexico requires that concealed handgun license applicants satisfactorily complete an approved firearms training course for the category and largest caliber of handgun the applicant desires to be licensed to carry. For a military service person discharged from military service within 20 years of the application for a license or renewal of a license, a firearms training course or refresher firearms training course is not required.

The New Mexico Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) prepares and publishes minimum standards for approved training courses, which must include classroom instruction, range instruction and an actual demonstration by the applicant of his or her ability to safely use, at a minimum, a handgun of .32 caliber. A training course must not be less than 15 hours in length and must provide instruction regarding:

  • Safe handling and knowledge of single- and double-action revolvers and semi-automatic handguns
  • Safe storage of handguns and child safety
  • Safe handgun shooting fundamentals
  • Live shooting of a handgun on a firing range
  • Identification of ways to develop and maintain handgun shooting skills
  • Federal, state and local criminal and civil laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of handguns
  • Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to control a violent confrontation
  • Techniques for non-violent dispute resolution

Approved training courses are those certified or sponsored by a federal or state law enforcement agency, a college, a firearms training school or a nationally recognized organization approved by DPS that customarily offers firearms training. Every instructor of an approved training course is required to file a copy of the course description and proof of certification with DPS annually.

A Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class from the USCCA meets permitting requirements in New Mexico. Find a class near you!

Refresher training is required at two-year intervals – A licensee shall complete a two-hour refresher firearms training course two years after the issuance of an original or renewed license. The refresher course shall be approved by the department and shall be taken 22-26 months after the issuance of an original or renewed license. A certificate of completion shall be submitted to the department no later than 30 days after completion of the course. The refresher can also be taken online through the NM DPS. Once completed, no certificate will be given, as it is sent to CCU through Survey Monkey.

A four-hour refresher firearms training course approved by the department is required for all license renewals.

 How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in New Mexico?

Step 1: Complete a firearm training course if required.

Step 2: Submit fingerprints.

    • The applicant must register with Gemalto Cogent.
    • After registration and payment are complete, the applicant will receive a REG ID.
    • Once the REG ID is provided to the applicant, the applicant may take it and a valid identification to any Gemalto Cogent fingerprint site to complete fingerprinting.

There are a number of established electronic fingerprint service sites established across the state. Fingerprint sites’ hours of operation and procedures may differ from site to site.

Step 3: Download the application.

Step 4: Complete the application and provide the following documents:

    • Certified original copy of your birth certificate issued by vital statistics in the state in which you were born (no photocopies)
    • Copy of certificate of completion of firearms training
    • Copy of New Mexico driver’s license or identification card
    • Release forms and any other supporting documentation

Step 5: Send your application and supporting documents to:

NM Department of Public Safety
SID/Concealed Carry Unit
6301 Indian School Road NE, Suite 310
Albuquerque, NM 87110

You will be notified if your application has been approved.


For more information, visit the USCCA New Mexico gun laws page now…