Selling a Gun in New Mexico?

If considering selling a gun in New Mexico, be sure you are educated on the state’s gun laws to navigate the legal process to avoid breaking the law during the transaction. The state of New Mexico has a variety of laws governing the ownership, transfer and the carrying of firearms. If you’re considering selling a gun to another individual that doesn’t have an FFL License, make sure you’re informed. This blog will provide some information regarding this process.

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The following information is compiled from a memo from the New Mexico office of attorney General to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report on New Mexico State Laws and Published Ordinances.

Selling a Gun to a Private Party in New Mexico

Sales of a firearm without a background check is unlawful in New Mexico. In 2019, New Mexico passed a law that generally requires firearms sales to be subject to a background check. The law requires private sales to be processed through a licensed dealer who is required to conduct a background check on buyers under federal law.

This requirement is subject to certain narrow exceptions, including the sale of antique firearms or sales between immediate family members

1. Unlawful sale of a firearm without a background check consists of the sale of a firearm without conducting a federal instant background check subject to the following:

  • if the buyer of a firearm is not a natural person, then each natural person who is authorized by the buyer to possess the firearm after the sale shall undergo a federal instant background check before taking possession of the firearm;
  • a prospective firearm seller who does not hold a current and valid federal firearms license issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 923(a) shall arrange for a person who does hold that license to conduct the federal instant background check. A federal firearms licensee shall not unreasonably refuse to perform a background check pursuant to this paragraph; and
  • a person who holds a current and valid federal firearms license issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 923(a) may charge a fee not to exceed thirty-five dollars ($35.00) for conducting a background check pursuant to this section.

2. The provisions of Subsection A of this section do not apply to the sale of a firearm:

  • by or to a person who holds a current and valid federal firearms license issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 923(a);
  • to a law enforcement agency;
  • between two law enforcement officers authorized to carry a firearm and certified pursuant to federal law or the Law Enforcement Training Act [Chapter 29, Article 7 NMSA 1978]; or
  • between immediate family members defined as a spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, nephew, first cousin, aunt or uncle

3. Each party to an unlawful sale in violation of this section may be separately charged for the same sale.

4. Each firearm sold contrary to the provisions of this section constitutes a separate offense under Subsection A of this section.

5. Two or more offenses may be charged in the same complaint, information or indictment and shall be punished as separate offenses.

6. Whoever violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor

Laws across the different counties in the state vary but generally Each person or firm in the city engaged in the business of purchasing, selling or lending money on secondhand or used firearms shall keep records on the transactions involving the firearms as follows:

  • The make, caliber, description and serial number of each firearm purchased or sold or on which money is lent;
  • The name and address of the person or firm from whom purchased, to whom sold or to whom money is lent; and
  • The date of each transaction.

Section 17-02-020. Exceptions to chapter.

Regularly established businesses within the city engaged in the business of selling, at retail, new firearms which have

been procured at wholesale from a manufacturer or jobber shall not be subject to the provisions of this article.

Section 17-02-030. Time of retaining records.

The records required to be kept hereunder shall be preserved and maintained for at least five (5) years from the date of

each such transaction and shall be made available at any time upon request to law enforcement agencies.

New Mexico State Firearm Ownership Restrictions

The following disqualifies a person in New Mexico from purchasing a firearm.


  • Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
  • Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
  • Felony pre-trial release.
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
  • Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • Illegal alien.

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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 07/30/21 from