The New Mexico knife laws are less restrictive apart from open carry laws as compared to other states.
In this state, any switchblade and the ones related to it such as balisong knives are illegal to buy, own, carry or sell. Most knife varieties are legal including exotics such as throwing stars and throwing knives.
The law in this state allow open carrying of large knives, but outlaws conceal carry. As a result of court cases, anyone carrying a knife inside a car will lead to thorniest questions.
The New Mexico state doesn’t have preemption law, and therefore, counties and municipalities can add their knife ordinances if they want.
Most knives are legal to own, buy, use or sell and these knives include:
• Pocket knives
• Hunting knives
• Bowie knives
• KA-BAR knives
• Throwing knives
• Throwing stars
Any knife that is legally owned can be carried openly except when carried in schools and its grounds, prisons, and courthouses.
• Switchblades – it’s illegal to buy, own, sell, carry or manufacture. The switchblades are those knives with blades which are opened using a spring mechanism and button, centrifugal, gravity or combination of the mechanism.
• Balisong – it’s an illegal switchblade irrespective of their functional differences and thus illegal to own and carry.
There is not limit on the blade length on knives since all knives are deemed deadly weapons irrespective of their length as they can produce dangerous stabs or cuts.
It’s illegal to carry a deadly weapon concealed except when carried inside a car or when carried by peace officers.
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 usually add strict laws which the knife owner has to comply. 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 above and long lock blade knives. Apart from avoiding open carry, it’s best to learn and observe local ordinances to avoid being in trouble with the law.
It's prohibited to own any automatic knife like butterfly knife or switchblade. It’s illegal to carry poniards, dagger, dagger, switchblades, Bowie knives, butcher knives and any other knife which can cause risky wounds.
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-12 (2012)