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Thread: New Mexico Knife Laws

  1. #1
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    New Mexico Knife Laws


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    Anyone out there know the current laws in New Mexico regarding knives?
    What is legal illegal with regard to type of knife and length of blade?

    My review of the state law reveals little.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    This thread seems to have been dead for, like, two years but I'm going to dig it up. I'
    ve been looking at the laws in NM for a little while, as I hope to go to graduate school there, and it seems like anything that's sharp or pointy is illegal.
    " 30-1-12. Definitions. (1963)

    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;

    30-7-2. Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon. (2001)

    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; "

    There dont seem to be any provisions for pocket knives, or for knives used while hunting. At packing.org there is an administrators note that says: "There is no mention of blade length in New Mexico Law." which usually means that any length is okay. In this case, however, it seems to mean that no length is okay. Am I missing something, or is this as messed up as I think it is?

    - Chris

  3. #3
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    So, basically, softball is legal as long as no one picks up a bat! Yikes.

  4. #4
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    Dang!

    I read that and say that if you get in trouble, you need either a really expensive lawyer to get your knife defined as anything but a weapon, or a jury of your peers with a modicum of sense!

    In practice, pocketknives aren't considered weapons. A related story - during the past presidential campaign, when John Kerry came through town for a rally, the Secret Service (assisted by a private security firm) collected all of the "questionable" items people were carrying. This included a wide selection of folders and a few claw hammers (!) After the event, people went back through and picked up their knives. Very civil. Nobody batted an eye.

    It's sort of scary how poorly the letter of the law matches with common practice. Now that New Mexico issues concealed carry permits, any idea if that will let you off the hook?

  5. #5
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    New Mexico CCL is kinda out there, too. You have to be 25, for starters. If I go to New Mexico, I'll have my masters degree before I can carry a gun.

    - chris

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaj999
    So, basically, softball is legal as long as no one picks up a bat! Yikes.
    You'd have to conceal the bat and be carrying for using it as a weapon.

    Seriously. Carrying a folder that isn't a switchblade probably won't get you in trouble anywhere in the state. Even in Santa Fe or Albuquerque .

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suerte
    You'd have to conceal the bat and be carrying for using it as a weapon.

    Seriously. Carrying a folder that isn't a switchblade probably won't get you in trouble anywhere in the state. Even in Santa Fe or Albuquerque .
    That's funny. I was in Santa Fe back in the Mesozoic Era (1958) and bught a switchblade from a shop on one of the main streets. I was all of 16 and my mother, bless her narrow view of what was acceptable, took it from me and I have resented that ever since.

  8. #8
    I'm reviving this in the spirit of consolidation.

    I am wondering if it is legal to have boot knives? Seems like it would be handy if I'm wearing boots to just have to reach down to grab my knife. Also, is double-edged okay? A lot of them are bladed on both sides.

    The way I read the laws at packing.org is that I can carry absolutely anything I want--except for a switchblade--as long as it's not concealed with intent of being used as a weapon.

    But someone else told me double-edged was not ok.

    Input?

  9. #9
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    I'm an appellate criminal defense lawyer in New Mexico. Hesparus, it's as messed-up as you think it is. On the upside, they've fixed the CCW statute to where you only have to be 21.

  10. #10
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    I live in NM also and I am very dissapointed in the content of our laws here concerning knives and "deadly weapons". I should note there are very specific laws concerning autos and "butterfly" knives. You may want to check these out also. I believe state law does not directly deal , at least in depth, with folding knives but the city where I live does. Here a folding knife cannot be over 6 inches long open from one end of the open knife to the other, (pommel to point). the blade cannot "lock" in the open position either. If the police department here wanted to they could basically arrest the whole male population and half the female population. There should be stronger laws concerning knives where they are present, or used, as a crime is commited instead of coming up with confusing discriptive turns that can be wildly interpreted in many, many ways and basically serve as a very weak preventive measure.
    WOOK

  11. #11
    Just an idea but, mabe you could find some relitive case law to let you know which way the courts are reading the laws. I've looked but nothing yet.

  12. #12
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    There really isn't any. Except for the switchblade/butterfly knife thing - those are just clearly a no-no.

  13. #13
    No changes to the law yet. The way that I've interpreted the written law is that. If you don't have a violent record and you don't piss off the cop you are fine with carrying a folding knife concealed. If you anger the police here, the cops opinion carries further than it dose in most states. Isn't here some knife rights groups out there that can help?
    Last edited by Cross Bones; 11-25-2012 at 09:37 AM.

  14. #14
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    Cross Bones wrote:
    No changes to the law yet. The way that I've interpreted the written law is that. If you don't have a violent record and you don't piss off the cop you are fine with carrying a folding knife concealed. If you anger the police here, the cops opinion carries further than it dose in most states. Isn't here some knife rights groups out there that can help?
    Not sure why you brought this back from the dead after six years, Cross Bones, but there have been changes to the case law here - which have been discussed on this board.

    In State v. Nick R., 2009–NMSC–050, 147 N.M. 182, 218 P.3d 868, our Supreme Court recognized that, when a weapon is not listed as a deadly weapon in the statute, the jury must be given the task of determining whether the object was used as a weapon and whether the object was capable of causing wounds described in the statute. Id . ¶¶ 37, 41. In a decision that I feel was very sensible, the NM Supreme Court made clear that a pocketknife cannot be categorized as a deadly weapon as a matter of law. Id. ¶ 43. It becomes a question for a jury to determine whether that particular pocketknife, “when used as a weapon, could cause death or very serious injury.” See UJI 14–1621 NMRA, Use Note 4.

    NM has no length requirement that renders a knife a "deadly weapon" by law - that's true. The good news is that, after Nick R., any old pocketknife is no longer automatically in that category.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Erich View Post
    Cross Bones wrote:

    Not sure why you brought this back from the dead after six years, Cross Bones, but there have been changes to the case law here - which have been discussed on this board.

    In State v. Nick R., 2009–NMSC–050, 147 N.M. 182, 218 P.3d 868, our Supreme Court recognized that, when a weapon is not listed as a deadly weapon in the statute, the jury must be given the task of determining whether the object was used as a weapon and whether the object was capable of causing wounds described in the statute. Id . ¶¶ 37, 41. In a decision that I feel was very sensible, the NM Supreme Court made clear that a pocketknife cannot be categorized as a deadly weapon as a matter of law. Id. ¶ 43. It becomes a question for a jury to determine whether that particular pocketknife, “when used as a weapon, could cause death or very serious injury.” See UJI 14–1621 NMRA, Use Note 4.

    NM has no length requirement that renders a knife a "deadly weapon" by law - that's true. The good news is that, after Nick R., any old pocketknife is no longer automatically in that category.
    I did a search on "New Mexico knife laws" on Google and this old thread showed up, I was logged into blade forums in a different window, so I decided to bring the thread back.

    That's good news, I hate the feeling of knowing that my future may be riding on someones feelings that day.

    So I guess carrying a fixed blade concealed is still out of the question though (small, like 7 or 8" over all length), since it's not truly a "pocket knife" by definition (interpretation again).
    Last edited by Cross Bones; 11-26-2012 at 02:13 PM. Reason: propaganda

  16. #16
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    Your future (insofar as an officer's interpretation can lead to hassles) continues to be as unpredictable as ever, it's just that the NM SCt has made it clear that - with the exception of the things listed in the deadly weapon definitional statute - the question of whether a pocketknife is a deadly weapon is a question for the jury to decide.

  17. #17
    Thank you sir. I just wanted to carry my grand-daddys' 2-bladed Barlow since he used to.
    Last edited by Cross Bones; 11-27-2012 at 01:05 PM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
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    My pleasure, amigo: I'd sure hope that no one would ever hassle you for that.

  19. #19
    I live in nm and I know the deadly weapon statute inside and out. If I were to buy an auto under 2.5 inches would it still be illegal? Under federal law any knife under 2.5 inches doesn't count as a deadly weapon. Would federal law superceed state law regarding a switchblade?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badgerwithabalisong View Post
    I live in nm and I know the deadly weapon statute inside and out. If I were to buy an auto under 2.5 inches would it still be illegal? Under federal law any knife under 2.5 inches doesn't count as a deadly weapon. Would federal law superceed state law regarding a switchblade?
    NMSA 1978, Section 30-7-8 says:

    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 other 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.
    Sorry to have to give the bad news to a New Mexico neighbor, but any switchblade is illegal under NM law. Without getting into federal law, you could be prosecuted in NM state courts for possessing a switchblade.

    And note that a butterfly knife is a switchblade under NM law. See State v. Riddall, 112 N.M. 78, 811 P.2d 576 (Ct. App. 1991). (Amusing apocryphal knowledge from an appellate criminal defense practitioner: Judge Apodaca, who dissented from Riddall, demonstrated the use of a butterfly knife on the bench during oral argument on the case. Rudy Apodaca is a great guy. )

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