WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO
information, including the law and NM Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) rules, go
The first step in obtaining a
concealed carry license is to find an approved instructor. NM requires 15
hours of training including live fire by an approved instructor. There are hundreds of
approved instructors. The list of approved instructors and their phone numbers can
be downloaded from
Most instructors will provide you with a complete packet of information and forms as
part of their class as well as the required certificate of training.
If they do not, you can pick
up this packet, titled “New Mexico Concealed Handgun Carry Act of 2003”,
from either DPS or most State Police offices. All of this information,
including both the law and the DPS rules can be downloaded from
fingerprint cards cannot be downloaded and that is why it is necessary to
obtain the packet.
Included in this packet are
the application, finger print cards (2 each) and two release forms. The
release forms give DPS the right to obtain medical information and any other
information including felonies and misdemeanors. The application and release
forms require notarization. Also required is a copy of your birth
certificate or proof of United States citizenship (if you were not born in
the US) and a copy of your NM Drivers License. The birth certificate can be
obtained from the state of your birth or if you were born abroad, you can
get a copy of your certificate of birth of a US citizen abroad from the
State Department or a Naturalization Certificate from the Department of
Immigration and Naturalization. Passports are not acceptable in lieu of a
DPS instructions for
submission of the application need to be exactly followed or the application
will be returned as incomplete.
Instructor cost and rules
differ. Some allow only factory ammunition, some charge for multiple
handguns, some require drawing a loaded handgun from the holster during
training, etc. When you contract with an instructor, the instructor should
provide you with his rules, a list of what to bring to the training and
directions to the classroom and range where the training will be conducted.
Note that current law in New
Mexico requires that your license lists the type and largest caliber of
firearm that you are qualified to carry. The two types of firearms are:
semi-auto and revolver. So, if you qualify with a 9mm semi-auto
and a .44 caliber revolver you can carry either of those guns or you may carry one
of that type that is smaller but not one of that type that is larger. In other words,
given the qualification above, you can carry a .32 semi-auto
but not a .40 semi-auto even though you qualified
with a .44 revolver. Also, even if you qualified with a .44 magnum, you
cannot carry a .45 revolver. Finally, note that you can only carry one
concealed handgun at a time in New Mexico.
Upon completion of training
the instructor will provide you with a certificate of training that needs to
be included in your submission to DPS. DPS instructions for submission of
the application need to be exactly followed or the application will be
returned as incomplete.
Also note that
a refresher course and requalification are required two years after the issuance
of your license. In a rare triumph of logic, you are no longer required to resubmit
fingerprints at each four year renewal.
Be sure to check
for reciprocity updates if you're traveling out of state as they can change quickly
(witness Virginia's dropping all reciprocity then reinstating it recently).
Good luck and safe shooting.