Posted 20 days ago
A federal judge has blocked part of a public health order issued by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that suspended the right to carry guns in public in Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County.
U.S. District Judge David Urias’ ruling Wednesday is a setback for the Democratic governor as she faced mounting criticism from both sides of the gun debate.
Judge Urias agreed with plaintiffs in several lawsuits who said the order violates constitutional rights and he granted a temporary restraining order to block the suspension of gun rights. The injunction will remain in place until an Oct. 3 court hearing.
“I don’t blame her for wanting to take action in the face of terrible acts,” the judge said of Ms. Lujan Grisham’s emergency order. But he said he was faced with a much more narrow question regarding the rights afforded to citizens.
In announcing the order Friday, Ms. Lujan Grisham said it was a necessary response to several recent shootings, including one that took the life of an 11-year-old boy as he left a minor league baseball game in Albuquerque.
The 30-day emergency order would have applied to open and concealed carry of firearms in most public places, ranging from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The state has a long history of allowing open carry of handguns in most public settings.
Within hours of her emergency order, federal lawsuits to block the gun ban were filed, state lawmakers called for her impeachment and even gun control activists rebuked her for violating the U.S. Constitution.
State police were tasked with enforcing the order and handing out citations for civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000.
However, the governor’s own law enforcement and state officials refused to enforce the order.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said he would not enforce it. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he is apprehensive because there are too many constitutional issues surrounding the emergency order.... (Read more)