Citizens have the right to keep and to bear arms and this right is recognized and preserved by the Constitution of the State of New Mexico. A preemption exists regarding municipal ordinances that affect the right to possess and to bear arms in this state.
Citizens can keep and bear arms for defense and for security purposes and no laws can limit this right in the state of New Mexico. However, carrying concealed weapons is not allowed. If an incident involves the right to keep and to bear arms, things will be handled by the state and not by a municipality or a county.
What Does The New Mexico Constitution Say About The Right To Bear Arms (Art. 2, § 6)?
Chapter 30, more specifically Article 7, deal with weapons and knives in the state of New Mexico.
Possessing a switchblade is forbidden. Butterfly knives are included in this category. See State v. Riddall, 811 P.2d 576 (1991) for more details on butterfly knives and other types of knives.
Manufacturers and sellers cannot display, sell or give a switchblade. It is forbidden to manufacture this type of knife in the state. This also includes butterfly knives.
Even though possessing and carrying a weapon is permitted, concealment is not. Conceal carrying a deadly weapon is not allowed.
Individuals cannot carry a deadly weapon in a concealed manner. This applies to firearms and to other types of deadly weapons. There are exceptions:
– People can conceal carry deadly weapons as long as they are on private property.
– Conceal carry is allowed if someone is inside of their private vehicle and if the weapon is carried to protect the person or their property.
– Peace officers can conceal carry deadly weapons. They need to be certified under the Law Enforcement Training Act [29-7-1 NMSA 1978].
– A peace officer can conceal carry a deadly weapon if they follow the rules of the law enforcement agency they are currently working for. They need to complete a course of firearms instruction. The course has to be offered by a certified instructor or offered by the New Mexico law enforcement academy.
– The department of public safety can issue valid concealed handgun licenses under the provision of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act [ 29-19-1 NMSA 1978].
Deadly weapons are statutorily defined under 30-7-2.
The term “deadly weapon” is used to refer to firearms regardless of whether they are loaded or not. A weapon that can be used to cause serious harm or death is considered as a “deadly weapon”. This applies to knives, daggers, switchblade knives, poniards, dirk knives, butcher knives, bowie knives, brass knuckles and other similar weapons that can cut or be used to thrust. The definition includes sword canes and other canes with a sharp end. Slung shots, slingshots, bludgeons and other similar weapons that can inflict serious wounds are included in the definition of “deadly weapon”.
The New Mexico law includes a list of the different types of knives considered as deadly weapons under 30-1-12.
This list includes:
– switchblade knives.
– butcher knives.
– bowie knives.
– dirk knives.
– sword canes.
– sharp pointed canes.
The definition of “deadly weapon” is broad and a judge or a jury can determine that an item is a deadly weapon if it can be used to cause dangerous thrusts or cuts. The 2009 case between the New Mexico Supreme Court and Nick R. is a good example of this. This case involvedNic R, a 16-year-old student how had a job at a family-owned furniture store. All the employees of this business carried pocketknives for the purpose of opening boxes. Nick R. brought the pocket knife with him to school. The knife was never opened and there were no indications that the knife was carried with the intent to cause threats to for criminal activities. Children’s Court brought charges against the defendant after the incident. The pocketknife was considered as a deadly weapon by the Children’s Court. The decision was appealed after the verdict of the Children’s Court. The New Mexico Court of Appeals decided to validate the decision taken by the Children’s Court since the pocketknife could be considered as a deadly weapon from a legal point of view. The New Mexico Supreme Court looked at the state’s law in a more thorough manner, including previous cases with statutory weapon restrictions. The decision of the Court of Appeals was reversed and the case went back to the Children’s Court. A jury was to determine whether or not the pocketknife could be considered as a deadly weapon. This case does not establish the fact that a pocketknife cannot be considered as a deadly weapon but it establishes that defendants have the right to have a jury decide if an item can be considered as a deadly weapon. This is something that needs to be determined on a case by case basis.
There are no critical dimensions regarding New Mexico laws on weapons.
There is a statewide preemption.
Under 30-7 2.1, deadly weapons are prohibited on school property. See the case of State v. Nick R. for more detailed on a case that involved a pocket knife on school grounds.
This information that is presented as a brief description of the laws and not as any kind of legal advice. aStraightArrow will not and cannot be a legal service provider. The use of the site does not create any sort of client/lawyer relationship. The knife laws are interpreted differently by prosecuting attorneys, enforcement officers, and judges. aStraightArrow suggests you consult legal counsel for further guidance.