Quick Legal Facts
Deadly weapons should not be carried on school property.
The Constitution of the State of New Mexico unequivocally recognizes and preserves the individual right of a citizen to keep and bear arms. It also establishes a statewide preemption as to municipal ordinances regarding the right to keep and bear arms.
No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.
Const. Art. 2, § 6
Chapter 30 of the New Mexico Code, and in particular Article 7, deals with weapons and knives.
The possession of switchblade knives is statutorily prohibited. 30-7-8. This section has been construed by the Court of Appeals of New Mexico as including butterfly knife within the prohibition. State v. Riddall, 811 P.2d 576 (1991).
It is unlawful in New Mexico to manufacture, cause to be manufactured, display, offer to sell, giveaway or. for that matter, purchase a switchblade. 30-7-8. This has been interpreted to include butterfly-type knives.
Concealment is a factor. The concealed carry of a deadly weapon is prohibited.
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;
(3) by a peace officer in accordance with the policies of his law enforcement agency who is certified pursuant to the Law Enforcement Training Act [29-7-1 NMSA 1978];
(4) by a peace officer in accordance with the policies of his law enforcement agency who is employed on a temporary basis by that agency and who has successfully completed a course of firearms instruction prescribed by the New Mexico law enforcement academy or provided by a certified firearms instructor who is employed on a permanent basis by a law enforcement agency; or
Deadly weapon is statutorily defined.
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;
Thus, under New Mexico law, the following types of knives are considered to be per se deadly weapons:
- Switchblade knives;
- Bowie knives;
- Butcher knives
- Dirk knives;
- Swordcanes; and
- Sharp pointed canes.
Additionally, as to knives or edged arms, deadly weapon can be any item which the fact finder (judge or jury, as applies) determines could be used to inflict dangerous “cuts” or dangerous “thrusts.” This is a determination for the fact finder, as illustrated by the 2009 New Mexico Supreme Court case captioned State v. Nick R., a child, 281P.3d 868. State v. Nick R. involved a 16-year-old student who worked after-school hours at a family-owned furniture store. He, in fact all store employees, were supplied with pocketknives for opening boxes. The defendant was found to be in possession of this pocketknife while at school. It was unopened. There was no indication whatsoever as to threatened or incipient criminal activity. Charges were brought against the defendant in Children’s Court. There, the court held, as a matter of law, that the pocketknife was a deadly weapon. That aspect of the Children’s Court finding was the subject of an appeal. The New Mexico Court of Appeals, an intermediate appellate body, affirmed or upheld the decision of the Children’s Court that the pocketknife was a deadly weapon as a matter of law. The New Mexico Supreme Court thereafter undertook a thorough analysis of that state’s law, including the history of statutory weapon restriction. It reversed the Court of Appeals and remanded the case to the Children’s Court for a rehearing, which would include a jury determination as to whether the pocketknife was a deadly weapon. The Nick R. case does not establish that a pocketknife is not a deadly weapon. Rather, it holds that the defendant is entitled to have the jury decide whether a pocketknife is a deadly weapon on a case-by-case basis.
Although New Mexico statutory law provides that a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license may carry other types of deadly weapons, the regulations on concealed carry licenses only mention handguns and the state’s current handgun law makes no mention of knives. Knife owners who have a handgun permit should exercise caution in light of this ambiguity.
Yes, according to the Constitution.
Deadly weapons should not be carried on school property. 30-7-2.1. Also note that the case of State v. Nick R. involved a pocketknife in the hands of a student on school grounds.