Gun Law Update
In a controversial move, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently enacted an emergency order to suspend the right to carry firearms in public spaces in Albuquerque and its surrounding Bernalillo County. This decision has sparked immediate legal challenges and has raised questions about the constitutionality of such an action.
The Emergency Order
Governor Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, announced a 30-day suspension of the right to carry firearms in most public places in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. The suspension is framed as an emergency public health measure and carries a fine of up to $5,000 for civil violations. State police are tasked with enforcing the order.
Immediate Legal Challenges
The National Association for Gun Rights and Foster Haines, an Albuquerque resident, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Mexico against the governor. They are seeking an immediate block to the implementation of her order, arguing that it infringes upon Second Amendment rights.
Local Authorities Refuse to Enforce Gun Law
Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, and Police Chief Harold Medina have all stated that they will not enforce the governor’s order. Bregman cited the order’s “clearly unconstitutional” nature as the reason for his stance.
Reasons for the Gun Law
The governor cited recent violent incidents, including the deaths of minors, as the driving force behind her decision. However, critics argue that the order is an overreach and infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Legal and Political Implications
Legal experts suggest that the governor’s action is likely to face stiff resistance in court, especially given the current conservative leanings of the U.S. Supreme Court. The top Republican in the New Mexico Senate, Greg Baca, and Dan Lewis of the Albuquerque City Council have also denounced the order as unconstitutional.
The suspension of the right to carry firearms in public in Albuquerque has ignited a legal and political firestorm. As the case progresses, it will undoubtedly serve as a litmus test for the limits of governmental authority in regulating firearms, especially in the context of public health emergencies.