What Are New Mexico’s Open Carry Laws?
Criminal Defense Attorney Protecting Open Carry Rights in New Mexico
New Mexico has adopted some of the laws that other states have regarding concealed carry and the use of a personal firearm. However, New Mexico is not as liberal with open carry laws as other states in the U.S. Therefore, if you own a personal firearm, it is imperative that you know the laws. Otherwise, you could be arrested and charged with a crime.
New Mexico Recognizes the Right to Bear Arms
Article II, Section 6 of the United States Constitution does allow a citizen to bear arms in the country, but that does not mean that everyone can carry a gun in a holster and walk into public places. In New Mexico, you are required under New Mexico Statute Section 29-19-4 to have a concealed weapon license if you want the gun on or near your person.
Not All New Mexico Residents Can Carry a Gun
In New Mexico, certain individuals are prohibited from carrying a firearm, including:
- Anyone under the age of 21;
- Non-citizens of the United States;
- Non-residents of New Mexico;
- Anyone convicted of or indicted for a felony in the state;
- A defendant previously adjudicated due to a mental illness defense;
- Anyone addicted to alcohol or drugs; and
- Anyone currently prohibited from carrying a firearm by federal law.
Carrying Your Gun in Certain Areas Might Result in Criminal Charges, Too
Even if you are not one of the individuals barred from carrying a weapon, if you open carry your gun in certain areas, you could be arrested. Some restricted areas include:
- Any school or school grounds;
- A licensed liquor establishment;
- A public bus;
- Correctional institution or associated lands; or
- A state park (unless at an authorized state hunting park).
What Penalties Could I Face for Open Carrying?
The penalty and charge you face will depend on the circumstance. For example, carrying a weapon without a license will result in a harsher penalty than a person with a permit open carrying in an unauthorized area. Also, if you brandish the gun or carry it on school grounds of any kind, you could face enhanced penalties.
Carrying a deadly weapon in an illegal zone or without a license is often a petty misdemeanor, but do not let the name fool you. You could still face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, a six-month probation sentence, community service, and counseling.
Arrested for Illegal Carry? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
In addition to jail time, you may have your license revoked by the state. Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a defense attorney if you have been arrested for concealing a deadly weapon or taking your weapon on unauthorized grounds.
The attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can help you with your charges. Schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense advocate by calling 505-375-4664 or requesting your consult appointment online.