Disclaimer: To get started, we want to share a small disclaimer. We are dedicated and proud supporters of everything 2nd amendment, but we are not lawyers. So, before you take what you read here and run with it, you will want to double-check all of your local or state gun laws. Make sure you are up to date on any special regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Gun laws are always changing and always do your part to stay up to date with the newest and current laws.
This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended to be taken as legal advice and should never be considered as such. Make sure to do your own research as you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.
This is a developing list of information we intend to update regularly to stay accurate and current. If you see a discrepancy or a mistake with your home state’s laws that we’ve covered, feel free to let us know so we can correct it. Thank you and stay safe!
What is an 80% Lower?
An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished and unserialized blank which requires some machining work from the end user to turn it into a 100% lower receiver, otherwise, what is legally considered as a firearm. 80 lowers are missing the trigger pocket and three holes that need to be milled and drilled out to be completed. Unless states have passed their own laws barring the possession or sales of 80% products; pending the ATF's updated decision from the most recent proposed rule 2021R-05 80% lowers are completely legal, not considered firearms and thus can be shipped straight to your front door. No FFL required. To explore the 80% lower receiver products we have to offer, check out our multiple collections.
Are 80 Lowers Legal In New Mexico?
As of this guide’s initial publish date, 80% lower receivers and frames are not considered as firearms by the ATF and are legal to ship directly to buyers residing in the state of New Mexico.
Do I Need to Serialize My 80 Lower in New Mexico?
If you build out your own firearms starting with 80 lowers in New Mexico you do not need to serialize the lower receiver or frame as there are currently no laws requiring citizens to do so. Should you wish to serialize your lower receiver you certainly can if necessary through our engraving services for 80 lowers.
Key Gun Laws in New Mexico
Other than laws regarding 80 lowers, these are the key gun laws you should be aware of if you reside or are traveling through New Mexico.
Firearm Possession and Purchase Requirements
New Mexico has more freedom when it comes to gun laws. There is no minimum age to possess long guns in New Mexico. Handgun buyers must be at least 21 years old. No extra licenses or permits are needed in order to purchase any handguns so long as the buyer is not legally restricted from doing so and is of the correct minimum age. Restrictions regarding minors in possession of firearms is pretty standard which means that they are prohibited from possessing or using firearms unless in the direct supervision or presence of their parents, guardian or when attending a hunter’s or firearms safety course, using the gun for target practice or recreational shooting at an established range, involved in an organized competition, hunting or trapping with a valid license, traveling to and from these events, or at their own residence with permission and supervision of a parents or a legal guardian. That being said, New Mexico does require all hunters to be at least 18 years old unless minors have a certificate showing successful completion of a state-approved hunter training course.
All firearm purchases and transfers require a background check including private party transfers (Dealer Record of Sale also known as 4473 form or “DROS”). While federal law requires federal firearm license holders (“FFL’s”:) to initiate background checks on buyers prior to the sale of a firearm, federal law also allows states to serve as their own “point of contact” and conduct their own background checks via state, federal records or databases, as well as the option to use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. New Mexico is not a point of contact for the NICS and as a result, dealers must conduct their background checks by going through the FBI’s NICS. Also, please note that per SB-08, as of July 1, 2019, background checks are required for private party transfers.
Open and Concealed Carrying
New Mexico is a ”shall-issue” state when it comes to concealed carry weapon permits which are offered in the form of “CHL’s” or Concealed Handgun License. Open carry is legal without any license necessary as well as concealed carrying within a vehicle. CCW holders in New Mexico are limited to carrying one gun at any given time under the permit. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and a state approved 15 hour course including live-fire instruction is required.
Non-residents are not issued any CHL’s in New Mexico with the exception of military service members who are permanently stationed within the state and that privilege extends to their family members as well. Residents will still find good reasons to get a CHL for reciprocity purposes when traveling across other states in the country. Additionally, CHL holders do not need a background check when purchasing a gun at an FFL. For more details on New Mexico’s concealed carrying policies see their reciprocity map here.
There are no NFA weapons or items restrictions in New Mexico and there are no assault weapon bans.
Magazine Capacity Restrictions
There are no magazine capacity restrictions in New Mexico. Enjoy those drums and belt-fed box magazines! We carry plenty of standard capacity magazines like this 30-round magazine from Lancer. Our favorite color is the translucent smoke one.
Mandatory Storage Requirements
There are no mandatory storage requirements for firearms in New Mexico, however, you should still exercise caution and can be tried for negligently leaving your guns accessible to children. If you need some good ideas or best practices for storing your guns and gear here are 5 firearm storage options.
While New Mexico’s laws do not expressly say “castle doctrine” they choose to use the term ‘habitation’ instead. Essentially, if you are legally allowed to be in a place, whether that’s a cot in the back of a store or your home, if you are in a location where you are legally residing and see the need to defend yourself with lethal force, that is deemed legal action in the state of New Mexico. New Mexico residents can also enjoy the ability to stand their ground as they have no duty to retreat as long as deadly force is justified and again, if you have the legal right to be where you are.
All types of ammunition are virtually unrestricted in New Mexico as the state does not require a license for the sale, purchase or possession of ammunition, and does not require ammunition sellers maintain sales records. Online sales of ammo can even be shipped straight to your front door in New Mexico.
Start Your Next 80 Lower Build with 80% Arms!
New Mexico residents are completely free to build their own firearms from 80 lowers and frames without any required serialization or FFL transactions. It's the perfect state to take advantage of your constitutional Second Amendment right and freedom to keep and bear arms. That includes 80% Arms! Grab a jig and some buddies to enjoy that freedom together and let us know if you need any advice with your build at any point in the process. Friends, live free.