Knife Laws In New Mexico


Knife Laws In New Mexico

The New Mexico knife legislation is permissive for open carry as compared to other states. The law in books is sophisticated but leaves complicacy for people having no or less legal perception to understand the dos and don’ts. The state’s laws allow people to use survival knives that do not conflict with the law.

Knife legislation in New Mexico

As per the state’s law,

“Any switchblade and the ones related to it such as balisong knives are illegal to buy, own, carry, or sell. Most knife varieties are allowed including throwing stars and throwing knives. The law allows the open carrying of large knives, but outlaws conceal carry. The New Mexico State doesn’t have preemption law, and therefore, counties and municipalities can introduce their knife laws.”

What is LEGAL in New Mexico

Most knife types are permissible to own, buy, use or sell in the state. These knives include:

  • Pocket knives are legal in New Mexico
  • Hunting knives are legal in New Mexico
  • Bowie knives are legal in New Mexico
  • Dirks is legal in New Mexico
  • Daggers legal in New Mexico
  • Stilettos legal in New Mexico
  • KA-BAR knives legal in New Mexico
  • Swords legal in New Mexico
  • Machetes legal in New Mexico
  • Throwing knives legal in New Mexico
  • Throwing stars legal in New Mexico

The exception to the rule

A legal knife can be carried openly except when carried in schools and its grounds, prisons, and courthouses. These are the places where keeping a legal knife will become illegal.

What is ILLEGAL in New Mexico

• Switchblades

Switchblades are mostly outlawed in the US. However, a few states have rolled out legal restrictions on Switchblades. However, it is illegal to buy, own, sell, carry or manufacture in New Mexico. The switchblades belong to the knife type in which blades are opened using a spring mechanism and button, centrifugal, gravity, or a combination of the mechanism. It is the anatomy of switchblades that is dangerous and can injure anyone. That’s why it is illegal in New Mexico.

• Balisong

It is also known for the famous butterfly knife. It is mostly used in artistry and is a promising self-protection tool. As it is a tiny gear that can perfectly make its place in pocket and pouch conflicts with a concealment law. And the state’s law is substantially strict for conceal carry. Thus, illegal to own and carry.

New Mexico Statutes 30-7-8. Unlawful possession of switchblades

As per the law,

“Unlawful possession of switchblades consists of any person, either manufacturing, causing to be manufactured, possessing, displaying, offering, selling, lending, giving away or purchasing any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or another device in the handle of the knife, or any knife having a blade which opens or falls or is ejected into position by the force of gravity or by any outward or centrifugal thrust or movement. Whoever commits unlawful possession of switchblades is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.” 

§ 30-7-2. Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon

Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon consists of carrying a concealed loaded firearm or any other type of deadly weapon anywhere, except in the following cases:

(1) in the person’s residence or on real property belonging to him as owner, lessee, tenant, or licensee;

(2) in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance, for lawful protection of the person’s or another’s person or property;

(3) by a peace officer following the policies of his law enforcement agency who is certified according to the Law Enforcement Training Act;

(4) by a peace officer following the policies of his law enforcement agency who is employed temporarily by that agency and who has completed a course of firearms instruction prescribed by the New Mexico law enforcement academy or provided by a certified firearms instructor who is employed permanently by a law enforcement agency; or

(5) by a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license issued to him by the department of public safety under the provisions of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act…

The exception to the rule

“A concealed deadly weapon carried by a peace officer, on property owned by the person carrying it, or in a private vehicle.”

What is a Deadly Weapon in New Mexico

As per the § 30-1-12,

“A deadly weapon is any firearm or weapon that is capable of producing death or great bodily harm. The statute then lists several specific types of weapons, including daggers, switchblade knives, bowie knives, poniards, butcher knives, and dirk knives. It also includes “all such weapons with which dangerous cuts can be given or with which dangerous thrusts can be inflicted” as well as any other weapons that can inflict dangerous wounds.”

Legal Definitions of Various Knives in New Mexico

• Switchblade knife

“Any knife with a blade that opens automatically by pressing a button, spring, or another device on the handle of the knife, or any knife with a blade that opens or falls into position by the force of gravity or by any outward or centrifugal thrust or movement (spinning the knife).“

• Automatic knife

“A knife with a spring-activated sheath, which retracted into the handle was an automatic knife because the handle is pulled away from the blade, rather than the other way around.”

Restrictions on Carrying knives in New Mexico

  • It is illegal to conceal or carry a dirk knife, poniard, or any type of dagger
  • It is illegal to conceal or carry a bowie knife
  • It is illegal to conceal and carry a switchblade
  • It is illegal to conceal or carry a Balisong or butterfly knife
  • It is illegal to conceal or carry a butcher knife
  • It is illegal to conceal or carry any weapon which can cause dangerous wounds
  • It is legal to open carry any type of knife that is legal to own in New Mexico

The permissible length limit of knives in New Mexico

There is no restriction on the length limit of knives in New Mexico. But as all, we know that apart from the blade length all knives are deemed deadly weapons and can be perilous,

As per the state’s law,

“It’s illegal to carry a deadly weapon concealed except when carried inside a car or when carried by peace officers.”

Definition of Carrying a Concealed Weapon

The New Mexico legislature defined “carrying a deadly weapon” as,

“A deadly weapon being armed by having it on the person, or nearby thereto so that the weapon is readily accessible for use. A knife in a vehicle parked in a school parking lot, driven to school by defendant student, constituted carrying a concealed weapon because the weapon was close to the driver’s seat and the defendant had ready access to the car during the day.”

The statutes do not provide an adequate definition of ‘concealed’ and neither does the case law.

As per the state’s law,

“Any knife that is capable of causing dangerous thrust and cuts is prohibited from carrying concealed. It includes the ordinary pocket knife as it can cause fatal thrust or cut.”

“A weapon is said to be carried if it’s accessible or on your person. A knife within lunge reach of the seat of your car counts as being carried. It’s also carried if it’s locked in your glove compartment.”

Other knife laws in New Mexico

Local ordinances add stringent knife laws as compared to the state’s law.

“It’s illegal to carry a knife of 5” and above and capable of causing harm to animals or humans.

Eunice town outlaws owning a knife with the length of 4” and long lock blade knives. It’s best to know and observe local ordinances to avoid being in trouble with the law.

Final thoughts

New Mexico knife laws are neither harsh nor lenient. It is prohibited to own any automatic knife-like butterfly knife or switchblade. Concealment laws are relatively strict in New Mexico. It is illegal to conceal carry dirk knives, poniards, any type of dagger, bowie knives, switchblades, butterfly knives, butcher knives, or any other knife, which can destroy peace and harmony. In New Mexico, you may travel with your favorite legal knife by openly carrying or in your vehicle.

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