Knife Laws in New Mexico

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New Mexico laws on knives are pretty vague and leave plenty of room for misinterpretation. They have not been updated in a long time. Knowing what to pay attention to will keep you out of trouble. Here is everything you need to know about knife laws in New Mexico.

What knives are legal to own in New Mexico?

Mesa Desert, NM
Mesa Desert, NM

New Mexico is one of the few states allowing bowie and other large hunting knives. There are no restrictions around them. Other than that, you can also own throwing knives and even Chinese throwing stars. Stabbing knives like stilettos, daggers, and dirks are perfectly legal too.

Since laws have not been updated in a while, some types of knives are not mentioned, whether legal or not. Since there are no regulations, you can possess them without getting in trouble.

What knives are illegal to own in New Mexico?

Switchblades and other automatic knives are illegal in New Mexico. Such knives can be deployed in no time with a mechanism – such as a button. Other than that, butterfly or Bali knives are also banned in New Mexico.

What are the limits on carry?

You can legally carry any knife in New Mexico in the open, as long as it is not on the banned list. But, practically, it must be visible, and you should be alright.

Concealed Carry

More restrictions apply to concealed carry. Apart from banned knives, you cannot conceal carry a stabbing knife – dagger, poniard, dirk, stiletto, etc. You cannot conceal carry a butcher knife either, not to mention bowie knives.

Furthermore – and this is the confusing part – any weapon that can cause dangerous wounds cannot be concealed carried.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

Knives cannot be carried on school properties – actual buildings, school grounds, safety zones, and transportation.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

There are no restrictions on selling or transferring knives unless the knife is banned.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

New Mexico has a statewide pre-emption. It claims that no municipality can regulate an incident of the right to keep or carry arms – knives are also included. Hence no cities can have knife ordinances in New Mexico.


Certain exceptions apply to the peace corps regarding knives and where they can carry them. Laws are confusing about banned knives, as nothing is mentioned. It might be wise to avoid banned knives or double-check upfront to stay on the safe side.

Summary of Knife Laws in New Mexico

New Mexico is not too strict when it comes to knife laws. Like most other states, it allows most knives, but it bans a few. Most restrictions apply to concealed carry, and they target particular knives only. Other than that, there are no critical dimensions to remember – conditions apply to certain types of knives, rather than the size of the blade.