NM Governor Bans All Gun Carry

(Cupventi.com) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, a member of the Democratic Party, has issued an emergency order on Friday, temporarily suspending the right to publicly carry firearms in Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for a minimum of 30 days. This action comes in response to recent incidents of gun violence in the region.

Governor Lujan Grisham acknowledges the likelihood of legal challenges to this order, but she asserts that it is a necessary response to the recent gun-related fatalities, such as the tragic shooting of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium earlier in the week. She emphasized the urgency, stating, “When New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game — when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn — something is very wrong.”

The emergency public health order encompasses both open and concealed carry in most public places, with exceptions for law enforcement officers and licensed security personnel. This restriction is specifically tied to a threshold of violent crime rates that is primarily met in the Albuquerque area. Those found in violation of this order could face civil penalties and fines of up to $5,000, as explained by the governor’s spokesperson, Caroline Sweeney. It is worth noting that while state police are responsible for enforcing the order, not all law enforcement officials, including the district attorney for the Albuquerque area, are in agreement with it.

Governor Lujan Grisham expressed her willingness to engage in a public debate on how to enhance the safety of New Mexicans, stating, “I welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer.”

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen expressed his concerns about the order but also signaled his readiness to cooperate in addressing the issue of gun violence. He highlighted the potential conflict with constitutional rights and the challenges it poses for law enforcement officers. Sheriff Allen said, “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”

Governor Lujan Grisham cited several recent shootings in Albuquerque as the basis for her order, including the tragic incident on Wednesday outside the Albuquerque Isotopes’ field that resulted in the death of 11-year-old Froyland Villegas and the critical injury of a woman. Both were inside a vehicle that was targeted by gunfire as people were leaving the game.

In another heartbreaking incident on August 13, 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was fatally shot while sleeping when four teenagers entered a mobile home community in stolen vehicles and opened fire on the residence. The girl sustained a gunshot wound to the head and succumbed to her injuries at a hospital.

A separate fatal shooting occurred in August in Taos County when a 14-year-old boy used his father’s firearm to fatally shoot his 13-year-old friend, Amber Archuleta, at his home.

State Senator Greg Baca, the highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, strongly criticized the governor’s suspension of firearms rights. He pointed out the urgency of bringing the perpetrator to justice in the recent child’s murder case and criticized the governor for targeting law-abiding citizens with an order that he views as unconstitutional.

On the other hand, Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, praised the governor’s order, viewing it as a necessary step to reduce gun violence. She emphasized the importance of saving lives, stating, “If it saves one life, then it’s worth doing.”

Governor Lujan Grisham has a history of signing bills that restrict access to firearms, including a 2020 “red flag” law that allows law enforcement to request temporary firearm removal from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others. She also signed a ban on firearm possession for individuals under permanent protective orders related to domestic violence.

Additionally, the governor’s recent order instructs state regulators to conduct monthly inspections of firearms dealers across the state to ensure compliance with gun laws. Moreover, the state Department of Health will prepare a report on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals, which will include demographic information such as age, race, gender, and ethnicity, as well as details about the firearms involved and the circumstances of the incidents.