New Mexico Governor Updates Controversial Gun Order To Albuquerque Parks, Playgrounds
Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

New Mexico’s Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham replaced a provision in her controversial gun order — banning firearms in the state’s capital city and surrounding areas — changing it so that the order was limited to temporarily suspending guns at parks and playgrounds.

“I’m going to continue pushing to make sure that all of us are using every resource available to put an end to this public health emergency with the urgency it deserves,” Lujan Grisham said in a news release on Friday. “I will not accept the status quo – enough is enough.”

Grisham signed an executive order in early September declaring that gun violence was a public health emergency in the Democrat-controlled state, banning citizens from carrying firearms in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for at least the next 30 days after a kid was killed during a road rage incident amid a spate of violent crime in the city.

Grisham said the updated order clarifies that the limitation of the open and concealed carrying of guns would not apply to parklands managed by the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department or State Land Office. She also directed several state departments to help the Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center “ensure adequate staffing, space, and screening for arrested and incarcerated individuals.”

Within days of Grisham announcing the order, the governor faced national criticism, multiple lawsuits, and lost support from New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez, who said he would not defend her administration in court.

“Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence,” Torrez wrote, in part, in a letter. “Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster.”

By the following week, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order on Lujan Grisham’s suspension of gun carry laws.

U.S. District Court Judge David Urias, whom President Joe Biden appointed, said the order directly conflicts with the Second Amendment and only applies to Section 1 and Section 4 of the public health order.

Section 1 said, “No person, other than a law enforcement officer or licensed security officer, shall possess a firearm … either openly or concealed, within cities or counties averaging 1,000 or more violent crimes per 100,000 residents per year since 2021,” according to official government statistics.

Section 4 stated, “No person, other than a law enforcement officer or licensed security officer, shall possess a firearm on state property, public schools, and public parks.”

“They just want the right to carry their guns,” Urias said of the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit against Grisham’s Sept. 8 emergency public health order.

State Sen. Greg Baca, the Senate Republican leader, reportedly applauded in a statement Judge Urias’ ruling, calling Grisham’s order “unconstitutional.”

“The governor’s malfeasance and utter disregard for the Constitution is alarming,” Baca said, according to local media. “By her own admission, she believes there are virtually no limits to the exercise of executive power. The Constitution says otherwise, and today, the court took action to remedy her blatant abuse of power against the citizens of New Mexico.”

Grisham reportedly criticized New Mexico Republicans, claiming they have not offered solutions “addressing public safety” in the Southwest state.

However, Baca countered her response, reportedly saying that lawmakers brought forward several solutions during the last legislative session last year that supported denial of bail and increasing sentencing for repeat offenders as some solutions. But the bills never made it past the Roundhouse building.

“The focus has been, now, on guns,” Sen. Baca said, according to local media. “We need to be focusing on the individual who murdered this child. Where is the outcry to find this child’s killer? I have not heard that from the executive branch.”

Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  New Mexico Governor Updates Controversial Gun Order To Albuquerque Parks, Playgrounds