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New Mexico governor issues 30-day ban on carrying guns, gun rights groups sue

Sep 12


The gun rights battle is heating up in New Mexico. On Friday, Sept. 8, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared gun violence a public health emergency and issued a 30-day ban on carrying firearms in public or on state property.

Grisham says the ban is necessary, as several young children have been killed in recent shootings. An 11-year-old boy was shot and killed outside a minor league baseball stadium in Albuquerque during the week of Sept. 3, and his aunt was wounded.

The temporary firearms ban prohibits people in Albuquerque and surrounding counties from carrying open and concealed firearms on state property, in public parks or other public areas.

There are exceptions for law enforcement and licensed security guards, and people can still have guns on private property. For those traveling with firearms – they must be transported either in a locked box or with a trigger lock.

However, Grisham’s order is receiving pushback from both sides of the political aisle. 

Several lawsuits have been filed. One of the lawsuits from the National Association for Gun Rights — along with one of its Albuquerque members — is seeking a temporary restraining order and repeal. The lawsuit cites New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared New York’s ban on public carry of firearms unconstitutional.

“This is the very danger of runaway executives who believe they have unilateral authority to suspend the Constitution under the guise of an ‘emergency,’” said Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights.

Sheriff John Allen, a Democrat of Bernalillo County, says his deputies will not enforce the order.

“While I understand the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution,” Allen said. “But most importantly, it is unconstitutional. My oath is to protect the Constitution and that is what I will do.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., a frequent gun control supporter, posted on X in opposition of Gov. Grisham’s gun ban.

“I support gun safety laws. However, this order from the governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution,” Lieu wrote.

David Hogg, a gun control activist, also criticized Grisham’s order, saying in a post, “I support gun safety but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”

Grisham also responded to Lieu on X, formerly known as Twitter, by saying, “Hey Ted, conceal and open carry are state laws that I have jurisdiction over. If you’re really interested in helping curb gun violence, I’d welcome you to join our next police academy class.”

According to Grisham, from 2009 to 2018, gun deaths increased in New Mexico by 43%.

Republican New Mexico state Reps. John Block and Stefani Lord are calling for Gov. Grisham’s impeachment over the ban.

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