In reaction to a recent spike in gun violence, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency order that will, for the time being at least, suspend the privilege to carry weapons in public throughout the city of Albuquerque and the surrounding county.
The Democratic governor of the state stated that she is prepared for legal battles, but that she felt driven to act because of recent shootings, including one that resulted in the death of an 11-year-old kid outside of a baseball stadium for a minor league this week.
According to Lujan Grisham, the state police are going to be in charge of enforcing what essentially equate to civil offenses. Chief of Police Harold Medina of Albuquerque has stated that he will not enforce it, while Sheriff John Allen of Bernalillo County has stated that he is concerned with it due to the fact that it raises too many problems regarding constitutional rights.
The open and hidden carry of weapons are both prohibited in most public places due to the emergency public health order that has been issued regarding firearms. This order covers everything from municipal sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The restriction is connected to a benchmark for the rate of violent crime, which is now only reached by the metropolitan Albuquerque area. The temporary prohibition does not apply to members of the police force or certified security guards.
Caroline Sweeney, a spokesperson for the governor, stated that those who violate the law could be subject to civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000. As long as the firearm has a trigger lock or some other container or mechanism that makes it impossible for it to discharge, homeowners are allowed to continue transporting guns to certain private sites, such as a gun range or gun store, in accordance with the order.
Lujan Grisham admitted that not all members of the law enforcement community agreed with her decision.
At a news conference, she added, “I welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer,” while she was joined by law enforcement authorities, including the district attorney for the Albuquerque area.
John Allen issued a statement late on Friday night indicating that he disagrees with the order but is willing to work with others to address the issue of gun violence.
“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Allen said. “While I understand and appreciate the urgency, I cannot support it.” “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts. I am also wary of the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to self-defense.” “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts.”
According to Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesperson for the Albuquerque Police Department, enforcing the governor’s order may potentially place the department in a precarious position with the United States Department of Justice in regards to a police reform deal.
Late on Friday, he stated that none of those queries had definitive answers.
In issuing the order, Lujan Grisham made attention to a number of recent shootings that took place in Albuquerque. Among them was a shooting that may have been the result of road rage that occurred on Wednesday outside of a minor league baseball stadium. The incident resulted in the death of 11-year-old Froyland Villegas and the critical injury of a lady when their vehicle was shot at as people were leaving the game.
A bullet entered the motor home in which 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was sleeping and caused her death around a month ago. According to the reports of the police, on August 13, at approximately 1:00 a.m., four juveniles entered the mobile home neighborhood in two stolen automobiles and began fire on the trailer. The girl had a blow to the head and ended up passing away later at the hospital.
The governor also referred to the shooting death of a 13-year-old girl named Amber Archuleta, which occurred in Taos County in August. According to the authorities, a kid who was just 14 years old shot and killed a girl using a gun that belonged to his father while they were both present at the boy’s home.
“When New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, or 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,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “When their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn, something is very wrong,” Lujan Grisham said.
The Republican who has the highest ranking position in the state Senate has been quick to condemn the moves taken by the governor on Friday to restrict access to firearms in an effort to reduce violent crime.
“A child has been murdered, and the person responsible for the crime is still at large; what action does the governor take? Sen. Greg Baca of Belen remarked that she “targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order.”
Even though the legal outcome of the move is uncertain, Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun crime, praised the governor’s order as a daring and essential step toward preventing gun crime. She called it a “courageous and necessary step” to curb gun violence.
Viscoli was quoted as saying, “If it saves one life, then it’s worth doing.”
Since 2019, Lujan Grisham has signed a number of pieces of legislation that restrict access to firearms. These laws include a “red flag” law that went into effect in 2020 and allows law enforcement officers or sheriff’s deputies to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others, as well as an extension of background check requirements to nearly all private gun sales.
She also put her signature on a law that makes it illegal for those who are the subject of permanent protective orders for domestic abuse to acquire weapons.
The order that was issued on Friday instructs state regulators to undertake monthly inspections of guns dealers across the state to ensure that these businesses are in compliance with applicable gun regulations.
The New Mexico Department of Health will compile a report on gunshot victims treated in New Mexico hospitals. The report will include the victims’ ages, races, genders, and ethnicities, as well as the brand and caliber of the firearm used in the incident, as well as other general conditions.