Many states in America are extremely gun-friendly and make it easy for people to open up their very own gun store or shooting range! This includes the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico.
To do this, you have to apply for a Federal Firearms License (FFL), which allows you to legally sell handguns, long guns, ammo, and other NFA items.
The main thing to keep in mind while trying to become a gun dealer is to make sure all Federal and State requirements are met. Fortunately, these aren’t too difficult to follow in New Mexico, and we discuss it all in this article.
We will discuss:
- FFL Cost
- Steps to getting your FFL in New Mexico
- Federal Requirements for an FFL
- New Mexico State Requirements for an FFL
- New Mexico Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
- FAQs and additional resources
FFL Cost in New Mexico
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in New Mexico costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years.
When you fill out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), you choose from several license types.
Each of these license types varies in price due to the different functions they allow the FFL Dealer to perform. This includes whether the licensee is just trying to sell a few handguns, incorporate gunsmithing, or handle NFA items, for example.
FFL License Cost by Type
To handle NFA items (such as silencers, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, etc.), you must pay additional costs in the form of an SOT license registration.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To get your FFL in New Mexico, you need to:
- Ensure you meet the federal and state requirements for an FFL
- Choose your FFL type
- Take an FFL course
- Submit your FFL application forms
Step 1: Ensure You Meet FFL Federal Requirements
First, you need to make sure that you meet all Federal and State requirements. The Federal Requirements are the same for every state in America. The only different parts are the state laws you will find across the nation.
We expand on both of these sets of requirements below.
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
Second, make sure you apply for the appropriate type of FFL. Depending on what you want to do as a federal firearms licensee, you will need to make sure you choose the type of license that will allow you to lawfully operate your firearms business.
More often than not, you will probably need either a Type 01 license (for most firearms dealers and gunsmiths just trying to make and sell guns) or a Type 07 license (for manufacturing). To manufacture and sell firearms, you can typically go with a Type 07 license.
To determine what type of FFL best suits your needs, read this article, where we break it down.
Some types of firearms and accessories require you to be an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer). You’ll apply as an SOT after being assigned your FFL number. These requirements are from the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), later updated with Title II of the Gun Control Act.
You’ll need to be an SOT if you plan to sell these NFA items:
- Full-auto machine guns
- Short-barreled rifles (rifles with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length under 26″)
- Short-barreled shotguns (shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length under 26″)
- Destructive devices (grenades, mines, bombs, etc.)
- Any other weapons (pen guns, specific special handguns, etc.)
The table below describes each FFL License type and which SOT Class you’ll need to apply for after getting your FFL to sell firearms covered under the NFA.
We cover all of the specifics of SOT classes and the NFA in our Get Your FFL Course.
Step 3: Take an FFL Course
Next, we strongly recommend you take an FFL course from a qualified instructor. The logistics of getting your FFL License can be complex, which is why I developed the Rocket FFL course based on decades of research and work as an attorney in the firearms industry.
When it comes to firearms legal advice, I’m confident that I can help you reach your goals quickly and with peace of mind.
The below course will cover how to become an FFL dealer and everything you need to know to get your FFL in New Mexico.
I highly recommend getting the FFL Course and SOT Course combo — just select the combo option at checkout. For an extra $10, learn how to apply to buy and sell silencers and Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) in addition to standard firearms covered by just your FFL.
Step 4: Submit Your FFL Application Forms
Finally, once you’ve made sure you meet all requirements (federal and state), verified the appropriate FFL type for your business, and taken the Rocket FFL course, you are ready to “pull the trigger” and apply for your FFL!
Once you submit the license application required by the ATF, they will complete background checks through the NICS on all “responsible persons” for the business. A responsible person (RP) is either the sole proprietor, a partner in the corporation, or will influence the business’s practices and policies.
Once all application paperwork is verified as correct, and all background checks are complete, the application is sent to a local ATF field office. An industry operations investigator (IOI) will interview you and make a final recommendation to approve or deny your application.
Assuming you passed, the ATF field office supervisor will then submit the approved application to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC), and you will be the next owner of an FFL!
According to ATF.gov, the entire process takes about 60 days from when a completed application was first received. However, depending on the state you are setting up in, the ATF may require multiple forms and extra steps during the process.
This may require multiple forms and extra steps depending on your location. However, if you took the Rocket FFL course, you’ll have every detail and access to all the necessary forms to quickly apply for your Federal Firearms License.
Federal Requirements for an FFL
The federal requirements for getting an FFL are the same for every state.
To get an FFL, the federal government requires that you:
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Are a US Citizen or legal permanent resident
- Are legally permitted to possess firearms and ammunition (no felony convictions, have not been a psychological patient or controlled substance user, etc.)
- Have a predetermined location for conducting FFL activities (this includes home-based FFLs)
- Have never violated the Gun Control Act (GCA) or related regulations
- Do not make any false statements/claims on your FFL application
Once you satisfy all of these requirements, you can then move on to the state-specific requirements.
New Mexico State Requirements for an FFL
New Mexico state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
New Mexico State Licensing Requirements
New Mexico is a very gun-friendly state, so there are no additional licensing needed or gun laws that need to be followed when you open your gun store. All you will need is an active FFL from the ATF.
However, if you ever expand your business or relocate to other states, there may be new state laws that do require additional licensing. Because of this, we advise you to double-check with your new local law enforcement agency when relocating.
New Mexico Business Registration Requirements
Before you officially open the doors to your new gun shop, you will need to make sure your business is registered with the state of New Mexico.
Even if your business is registered in another state (we suggest this in our Get Your FFL course), you’ll still need to have an official presence in New Mexico.
To register your FFL business in New Mexico, you should check out the steps to starting a company by the New Mexico Division of Corporations. They also provide an excellent resource for How To Register your New Mexico Business.
New Mexico Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
The last (and often trickiest) part of setting up your firearms business is following all zoning requirements. At this point, you will need to make sure that the location you choose is legally allowed to operate a firearms business.
It’s common to inquire about an FFL for a home-based firearms business and be told you can’t operate in a residential area. However, this is often due to a misunderstanding of the type of business you would be running.
Home-based FFLs typically don’t have the same foot traffic as other retail stores, which is why they can often be located in residential areas (unlike most retail). We cover this and more, including requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.
New Mexico FFL Summary
As you can see, getting your New Mexico FFL is straightforward, all things considered!
As long as you meet all the requirements on a Federal and State level, choose the appropriate license type, take an online course, and fill in the proper application forms, you’ll be on your way to being the newest owner of a New Mexico FFL.
But a word of caution: Without our course, you can expect to spend a lot of time and effort on the application process. Even if New Mexico is one of the more accessible states to get licensed in, it’s no guarantee that it’ll be a walk in the park.
With our course, you can, with confidence, fill out your forms and get through the process with ease. Trust me — knowing that you are running your business safely and within all the confines of both federal and local laws will be a massive load off your mind.
So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!
FAQ for New Mexico FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in New Mexico?
An FFL in New Mexico costs anywhere from $30 to $200 for 3 years. For a full breakdown of the cost of an FFL, check here.
Do I need an FFL in New Mexico?
Yes! If you plan to sell, transfer, manufacture, or do anything else for profit involving firearms, you are legally required to have an active FFL.
Does New Mexico require extra licensing for FFLs?
No, there are no additional licensing requirements for FFLs in New Mexico.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in New Mexico?
Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in New Mexico.
Can I get an FFL to save money on guns?
No, you should not get an FFL just to save money on guns. One of the main requirements for getting your FFL is “business intent,” meaning you intend to operate a firearms-related business.
However, you may wait to start your business until after you get your FFL number.
Extra Resources For Getting a New Mexico FFL
US Code § 923: Code § 923 covers federal regulations for the import, manufacture, and dealing of firearms and ammunition. This is the federal law that requires those operating firearms businesses to get an FFL.
US CFR § 478.47 – Issuance of license.: This code explains how a Federal Firearms License is issued, including who must assign the license number. It requires the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to qualify applicants based on a predetermined list of requirements and to issue Federal Firearms Licenses.
If a correctly submitted FFL application has been submitted on ATF Form 7, the Chief of the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (a department at the ATF) must issue the license and assign a serial number to the licensee.
Gun Control Act (GCA): The GCA of 1968 establishes stricter laws on the firearms industry than were already present in the NFA. New regulations regarding firearms offenses, firearms/ammunition sales to “prohibited persons,” and federal jurisdiction for “destructive devices” (bombs, grenades, mines, etc.) were created with the GCA.
Starting a Business in New Mexico: When you start your new business, make sure you check out this page from the New Mexico Secretary of State. It provides you with all the information you need, regardless of what type of business you’re opening.
FFL Types: Use this guide to make sure that you choose the right type of Federal Firearms License for what you want to do.
Home-Based FFL: Don’t want to pay for a storefront but wish to operate as an FFL holder from your home? We explain how to do it from start to finish.