Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in New Mexico?

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Gun ranges in New Mexico operate under state and federal gun laws. If it is your first time trying out these ranges, you may be curious as to what these laws are to avoid making illegal mistakes. Thankfully, you can find all the information you need on what rules and laws you should follow from online sources.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in New Mexico?

No, you do not need a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in New Mexico. Some ranges have requirements on how weapons should be carried in their facilities, with most requiring weapons to be carried in secure cases or bags. You should find out the rules and regulations governing the shooting range you choose.

New Mexico is a ‘Shall Issue’ state, and this guarantees that you will get a permit if you meet all the requirements. You are however not required:


With minimal prohibitions to gun ownership and handling, you can use the gun range confidently without the risk of breaking any laws. You can focus on sharpening your shooting skills without worrying about getting into any legal trouble.

When Do You Need a Gun License?

The state laws allow for both open and concealed carry of weapons. You do not need a permit to open carry but a license is a must when transporting the firearm on you. You can easily get this permit that is valid for 4 years. The requirements include:

  • You must complete a training course in an approved training facility that equips you with safe gun handling skills, firearm shooting basics, safe gun storage among other course topics
  • You must be a United States Citizen aged 21 years and above
  • You must be a resident of New Mexico
  • You must not be a fugitive
  • You must not be a convicted felon anywhere in the country
  • You must not be under any criminal offense indictment
  • You must be mentally competent
  • You must not an addict to any illegal or controlled substances
  • You must meet other federal requirements

The Department of Public Safety usually issues this permit after 30 days. The state also recognizes permits from states with similar liberal gun laws. You should find out whether your state of origin is one of the 24 states that New Mexico honors.

Woman at a gun range in New Mexico without using a gun permit

How to Transport Firearm to and From Gun Range

You can transport your loaded firearm in your vehicle without the need for a license. However, if you are on foot and carry the firearm concealed in a range bag, you need to have the permit with you to avoid any conflict with the law. If you are open carrying however, you do not require a permit.

Some places do not allow firearms and you need to be on the lookout for establishments with signage indicating this and avoid such areas. It is best to avoid unnecessary stops to and from the gun range if you have your weapon with you. Some of the areas you cannot carry firearms include:

  • Buildings and areas prohibited by federal law such as federal courts and offices, schools and other institutions of learning
  • Areas designated by state laws such as state parks, both national and state forests and roadside rest areas
  • Restaurants selling hard liquor also prohibit firearms


You do not require a gun permit to shoot at any gun range in New Mexico. You will need a permit if you conceal carry your firearm but do not need one if you are openly carrying the firearms though. Obtaining this permit is easy as long as you meet the required criteria.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.