The NM Department of Public Safety announced the following change to New Mexico law, enacted during the 2015 session in House Bill 431.

An application fee and training course are not required for Military personnel or Military persons who have been discharged from military service within twenty years of the application for their initial license or renewal. Military Service Person is defined as being on active duty with the United States armed forces, is on reserve or guard duty with the United States armed forces, or is a veteran or retiree who received an honorable discharge as indicated on a US Department of Defense Form 214.

According to the text of House Bill 431:

SECTION 2. A new section of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act is enacted to read:

MILITARY SERVICE PERSONS--REQUIREMENTS.—

  1. For a concealed handgun license applicant or licensee who submits with a concealed handgun license application documentation satisfactory to the department that the applicant is a military service person as defined in Subsection E of this section, an application fee or renewal fee is not required. For a military service person discharged from military service within twenty years of the application for a license or renewal of a license, a firearms training course or refresher firearms training course is not required.
  2. A military service person shall submit to the department two full sets of fingerprints and a color photograph of the military service person. The department shall conduct an appropriate check of available records and shall forward the fingerprints to the federal bureau of investigation for a national criminal background check.
  3. A military service person's concealed handgun carry license shall have printed on the license "military service person" and shall be valid for a period of five years.
  4. The department shall suspend or revoke a military service person's concealed handgun license if:
    1. the military service person provided the department with false information on the application form or renewal form;
    2. the military service person did not satisfy the criteria for issuance of a concealed handgun license at the time the license was issued; or (3) subsequent to receiving a concealed handgun license, the military service person violated a provision of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act.
  5. As used in this section, "military service person" means a person who was accepted into the United States armed forces and:
    1. is on active duty with the United States armed forces;
    2. is on reserve or guard duty with the United States armed forces; or
    3. is a veteran or a retiree who received an honorable discharge as indicated on a United States department of defense form 214.

Frequently Asked Questions: Military/Veteran Exemption

Q: I qualify as a 'Military Service Person' and would like to get my NM Concealed Handgun License. What do I have to do?

A: If you qualify for the military exemption as defined by NM law, no New License Course or any other proof of training is required. You will need to submit to the DPS:

  1. A completed two-page application
  2. A photocopy of your NM Driver’s License or military orders showing NM residency
  3. Certified Original Birth Certificate or a certified copy
  4. A copy of your form DD214 or a copy of your military ID (in lieu of the certificate of completion for a firearms training course approved by the department)
  5. Electronic fingerprint Background Check
  6. Health Information Release Form
  7. A color passport photo, unless you have a NM driver's license and a photo can be obtained from the NM MVD.

Q:  I qualify as a 'Military Service Person' and would like to renew my NM Concealed Handgun License. What do I have to do?

A: If you qualify for the military exemption as defined by NM law no Renewal Class is required. You will need to submit to the DPS:

  1. A completed two-page application
  2. A photocopy of your NM Driver’s License or military orders showing NM residency
  3. A copy of your form DD214 or a copy of your military ID (in lieu of the certificate of completion for a firearms training course approved by the department)

Q: If I don’t have to take any further training, do I have to shoot a qualification for the firearms listed on my license?

A: No. DPS will automatically list .45 caliber, in both the semi-auto and non-semi-auto categories, on your new or renewed license.

Q: I’m up for my 2-year Refresher Class, do I have to take this class or shoot a qualification?

A: No.

Q: How long is my 'Military Service Person' Concealed Handgun License valid?

A: If you obtained your license under the 'Military Service Person' provision, your license needs to be renewed every five years.

Q: I am retired from the military or was honorably discharged. How long does my exemption from training and fees last?

A: You are exempt from training and fees for twenty years after your retirement or honorable discharge. After twenty years, you must take NM-approved training courses, and pay licensing fees.