Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for New Mexico

Q: Firearm ownership in new Mexico

I legally bought a rifle and shotgun in 1978; in 2009 I was convicted of nonviolent felony, sentenced to 8 months, completed sentence in May 2010;

May I legally have the firearms, in my home, in new Mexico? If not, is there a way to legally do so?

Keep in mind- rifles, not handguns, legally purchased by me in 1978, no felony records at the time.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: No, you aren't legally allowed to own a firearm. See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-16.

This same statute defines a "felon" using the following language:

“[F]elon” means a person convicted of a felony offense by a court of the United States or of any state or political subdivision thereof and:

(a) less than ten years have passed since the person completed serving a sentence or period of probation for the felony conviction, whichever is later;

(b) the person has not been pardoned for the felony conviction by the proper authority; and

(c) the person has not received a deferred sentence; and

So, based on what you said, it is NOT legal for you to own a gun until at least June 2020 (10 years and one day after you were released from jail). Plus, if you were "on probation" after you left jail, it seems the relevant "10 years" does not elapse until 10 years after your final PROBATION date.

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