In a significant development, a federal judge has temporarily blocked New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's emergency order that suspended the right to carry firearms in public in Albuquerque and the surrounding county. The order, which was issued on September 8, aimed to ban the concealed and open carrying of firearms in New Mexico's most populous metro area for 30 days due to public health concerns following recent shootings in the state.
US District Court Judge David Urias, a President Biden appointee, ruled that the governor's gun ban violated the Supreme Court's 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. This decision made it clear that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense. While acknowledging the governor's intent to address the issue of gun violence, Judge Urias emphasized the need to consider the rights of citizens in his ruling.
Under Governor Lujan Grisham's order, state police were authorized to enforce the temporary ban and impose civil penalties, including a fine of up to $5,000, for individuals found carrying a firearm in public. However, both the Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen opposed the order, with Sheriff Allen calling it "unconstitutional." This refusal by local law enforcement to enforce the ban further fueled the controversy surrounding the governor's order.
In response to the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Urias, Governor Lujan Grisham released a statement expressing her disappointment but also acknowledging the issue of gun violence in the state, particularly regarding the deaths of children. She remains committed to taking action to prevent such tragedies and emphasized her determination to address the crisis of gun violence.
While the judge blocked the ban on carrying firearms, other aspects of the governor's public health order, such as monthly inspections of firearms dealers, reports on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals, and wastewater testing for drugs, will remain in place. The order faced multiple legal challenges, with critics arguing that it infringed upon civil rights protected by the Second Amendment. Republican state lawmakers even called for impeachment proceedings against Governor Lujan Grisham in response to the gun ban order.
The temporary restraining order will remain in place until a court hearing scheduled for October 3. Meanwhile, the debate surrounding gun rights, public safety, and the responsibility of government officials to address gun violence continues to intensify in New Mexico. The governor's order, which aimed to tackle the alarming rise in shootings, has sparked a wider political divide and raised questions about the balance between public health concerns and constitutional rights.
themes: Shooting Subway Mexico New York (state) New Mexico