When it comes to picking a weapon for self-defense, there are a lot of considerations to go through. Not the least of which is the legality of your chosen weapon.
Even in permissive states, laws that can differ regarding what weapons are allowed with or without a permit, and more concerning where they can go.
Tasers are a great example of this, with most states across the country having significantly differing laws covering these electroshock devices. What about New Mexico? Are tasers legal in New Mexico?
Yes, tasers are illegal in New Mexico and can be purchased, possessed, and even carried with no permit requirements. Although they’re not specifically defined under New Mexico statutes, the misuse of a taser or criminal possession is still a crime.
You won’t have any issues getting your hands on a taser in New Mexico, or carrying one as part of yourself defense repertoire, but you still need to know what’s going on concerning lawful possession and things like where you can and more importantly cannot carry them.
I’ll tell you what you need to know down below…
How are Tasers Classified in New Mexico?
Tasers don’t have a specific legal definition in New Mexico. You won’t find a definition for them in any of the state statutes, and even looking in 30-1-12 for definitions, we see that they could only conceivably fit under the definition for deadly weapon.
This is because, in fact, a taser can inflict great bodily injury or death, even though the chances of it doing so are extremely low.
But, the general consensus among legal professionals is that New Mexico law doesn’t view tasers specifically as deadly weapons per se, though any weapon that winds up inflicting great bodily injury or death could be considered such in legal proceedings.
Something to keep in mind as you read through the rest of this article, and even though tasers aren’t really covered by the laws that cover firearms.
Section 30-7-1 – “Carrying a deadly weapon”.
“Carrying a deadly weapon” means being armed with a deadly weapon by having it on the person, or in close proximity thereto, so that the weapon is readily accessible for use.
Section 30-1-12 – Definitions.
As used in the Criminal Code:
A. “great bodily harm” means an injury to the person which creates a high probability of death; or which causes serious disfigurement; or which results in permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any member or organ of the body;
B. “deadly weapon” means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; or any weapon which is capable of producing death or great bodily harm, including but not restricted to any types of daggers, brass knuckles, switchblade knives, bowie knives, poniards, butcher knives, dirk knives and all such weapons with which dangerous cuts can be given, or with which dangerous thrusts can be inflicted, including swordcanes, and any kind of sharp pointed canes, also slingshots, slung shots, bludgeons; or any other weapons with which dangerous wounds can be inflicted;
Are Stun Guns Legal in New Mexico?
Yes, stun guns are completely legal in New Mexico. As with tasers, they are not specifically defined in the state statutes and so they both occupy the same sort of illegal space.
Practically speaking, stun guns are distinct devices from tasers, with the latter firing a set of probes that connect to the launching device by a set of wires. Wires through which electricity will flow and then into the target.
Stun guns, on the other hand, have electrodes that are on the front of the device itself, and when jabbed into the target and then activated will administer a shock.
This is a functional difference for you, of course, but also something to keep aware of for other states because they might have different legal definitions!
Can You Carry a Taser Openly in New Mexico?
Yes. You can carry a taser or stun gun openly in New Mexico with no issues so long as you can legally be in possession of the device.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in New Mexico?
Yes, you can also carry a taser concealed in New Mexico with no issues, as long as you can legally possess it, and you don’t need a permit to do so.
However, it’s worth reviewing section 30-7-2 concerning unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon. Tasers are not considered deadly weapons per se under New Mexico law, but a concealed weapons permit will further remove certain ambiguities that you might be operating under otherwise.
Not something that I would necessarily worry about if I didn’t have a permit, but having one definitely won’t hurt.
Section 30-7-2 – Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon.
A. 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;
(5) by a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license issued to him by the department of public safety pursuant to the provisions of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act [Chapter 29, Article 19 NMSA 1978].
C. Whoever commits unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in New Mexico?
Yes. You have to be at least 18 years old or older to legally purchase, possess, or carry a taser in New Mexico. Furnishing a taser to anyone who is underage or possessing a taser while you are underage is a crime.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in New Mexico?
Tasers and stun guns are freely available from retailers that sell them. Usually, this will be a sporting goods store, gun shop or a security supplies and systems retailer.
Stun guns may be freely bought, but purchasing a taser might entail a background check and will certainly require you to submit your personal information and ID for the purchase.
That’s because of the manufacturer of taser devices requires consumer information be recorded and sent to them as part of their database program.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in New Mexico?
No. Training is not required in any way to purchase or carry a taser in New Mexico. If you want to carry yours under benefit of a concealed weapons permit, you will, though, have to undergo the requisite training to obtain the permit though this is strictly optional.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in New Mexico?
Tasers can go in many places in New Mexico, but you can’t carry them wherever you wish necessarily. Laws that still regulate the carry of weapons on various premises also apply to tasers much of the time.
You’ll need to check local laws for additional restrictions, but generally, you cannot carry your taser or stun gun:
- into any government building or government office,
- into a courthouse or courtroom,
- into any school or onto any school property or school function,
- and that includes onto any school vehicles such as a school bus or other conveyance.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in New Mexico?
The only time you can lawfully use a taser in New Mexico is to protect yourself from a legitimate threat of death or great bodily injury, or, potentially, somewhat lesser unlawful force.
This is a bit tricky in this state because they don’t directly classify tasers as dangerous or deadly weapons, and accordingly they are generally considered non-lethal under normal circumstances.
However, it isn’t out of the question that your taser may indeed inflict great bodily injury or death even when it is used as directed.
This means if you taze someone who has only pushed you or is heckling you and getting in your space you might be using excessive force. It’s a tricky topic, so I highly recommend you consult with a reliable self-defense attorney in New Mexico as part of your preparation.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.