What Are the Steps to Get a Concealed Weapons Permit in New Mexico?
Experienced New Mexico Attorneys Explain the Steps to Getting a Concealed Weapons Permit
Carrying a gun in New Mexico is an important right. However, you need to have a concealed carry permit, so you can carry your sidearm anywhere the law allows. Not surprisingly, you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it.
The State of New Mexico can take away your right to carry a concealed firearm or deny your application for many reasons. Don’t take any chances with your valuable rights. The legal team of New Mexico Criminal Law Offices have over two decades protecting people’s rights—including the right to carry a concealed weapon. We know how to protect your rights. Additionally, we can work with you to clear up your history and remove any impediments to getting your concealed carry permit.
First Step: See If You Qualify
New Mexico is a “shall issue” state. That means the law in New Mexico requires the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to issue a concealed carry permit unless the person doesn’t qualify. The DPS has 30 days to issue a concealed carry permit if the applicant qualifies.
New Mexico law is clear as to who can and can’t get a concealed carry permit. You can qualify to have a concealed carry permit if you meet the following requirements:
- You are a U.S. citizen;
- You are a resident of New Mexico or a member of the military stationed permanently in New Mexico or a dependant of that person;
- You are 21 or older;
- You do not have an active warrant;
- You do not have a felony conviction and are not currently under indictment for a felony;
- You do not have a history of another state prohibiting the person from possessing a firearm;
- You have no history of hospitalizations for mental illness or adjudications by a court for incompetency;
- You are not addicted to drugs or alcohol; and
- You have completed the approved firearms course.
If you do not meet all these requirements, then the DPS can deny your application.
Who Is Automatically Disqualified from Getting a Concealed Carry Permit?
The right to carry a concealed firearm has limits. The law in New Mexico prevents people who might be a threat to society or themselves from carrying a concealed weapon. As a result, New Mexico law automatically disqualifies:
- Anyone who has a disposition other than a dismissal or a not guilty finding for a violent misdemeanor charge within 10 years of applying;
- Every person with a misdemeanor conviction for DUI within the last five years;
- Anyone convicted for possession or abusing drugs within 10 years; and
- Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery, and battery against a household member.
If you think you qualify, then you can start the next steps to getting a concealed carry permit.
Second Step: Take a Concealed Carry Course
Taking a safety course is essential to getting your concealed carry permit. Remember, the state designed the process of applying for your concealed carry permit as a way to ensure you carry a gun safely. Therefore, you still have to take a concealed carry course even if you have experience carrying a firearm openly.
You cannot attend just any course. The course you attend has to have prior approval from the DPS. Also, the course instructor must have a current DPS certification. Additionally, the course must be at least 15 hours long. Otherwise, the DPS will not accept your certificate of attendance. Make sure that you research all the courses in your area and confirm they have prior approval from DPS.
Third Step: Getting Fingerprinted
The DPS application specifically states that you must have a company called Gemalto take two sets of digital fingerprints. The fingerprinting fee for a civilian is $44. However, military and law enforcement officers have to pay only $8.30.
You may wonder why DPS wants you to get digital fingerprinting done. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will perform the background check. Accordingly, they use your digital fingerprints to confirm your identity.
The FBI will return your fingerprints to you if you want. All you have to do is enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your application. Asking for your fingerprint cards back is a good idea; you will have peace of mind knowing they didn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Fourth Step: Complete and File the Application
The DPS has a two-page application that you need to complete. You have to collect several documents and other items to send to DPS along with your application. The type of documentation you have to file depends on your status as a civilian, law enforcement, or military. Additionally, you have to reapply after having a concealed carry permit for two years.
What Items Do You Need to Send in with Your Application?
The DPS lists all the items you have to send in with your application. They will not even look at your application if you don’t follow their instructions. So you should pay close attention to DPS’s requirements—you don’t want to lose your chance to get a concealed carry permit.
All applicants need to submit items such as:
- Health information authorization, complete with witness signature;
- Notarized release of information authorization;
- Copy of a valid New Mexico driver’s license or state identification card;
- Copy of birth certificate or naturalization documents unless you have REAL ID;
- Training certificate signed by a DPS-certified instructor;
- Gemalto Fingerprint Receipt; and
- $56 fee made payable to NMDPS CCU.
Military and law enforcement members will need to submit documentation identifying themselves as members of the military or a law enforcement officer. Lastly, the DPS accepts money orders, cashier checks, personal checks, and credit cards as payment for the $56 fee.
Where Do You Send Your Application?
The DPS wants you to mail your application, fee and supporting documents to:
NMDPS Concealed Carry Unit
6301 Indian School Rd NE Suite 310
Albuquerque, NM 87110.
The DPS warns you repeatedly that it will not accept incomplete applications. Additionally, it will not refund your fee. Therefore, you have to be certain that you do everything right the first time.
Where Should You Turn for Help If DPS Denies Your Concealed Carry Application?
If you followed all the steps to getting a concealed carry permit in New Mexico and DPS denies your application, then you need a knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated lawyer to fight for you. The seasoned attorneys with New Mexico Criminal Law Offices are ready to help. With over 20 years of dedication to protecting their clients’ rights, the lawyers with New Mexico Criminal Law Offices understand that you demand justice. Call us today at 505-200-2982 to schedule a free case evaluation. With New Mexico Criminal Law Offices in your corner, you will get the best results possible.