New Mexico Governor Enacts Emergency Order Banning Guns Amid Rising Violence


On Friday, in response to an escalating public health crisis due to gun violence and drug abuse, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham enacted an emergency order. This measure prohibited both open and concealed firearms in Albuquerque and its encompassing Bernalillo County, leading to an uproar of opposition and impending legal disputes.

In her public health emergency declaration, Grisham pointed to recent tragedies of the state, including the homicide of a young girl and boy and two significant mass shootings in May. For 30 days, the order plans to suspend the open and concealed firearm laws in Bernalillo County, while also barring the carrying of guns on state property, including state-run facilities, educational institutes, and select parks.

Despite this, industry experts suggest that this verdict is more likely aimed at probing the limits of gun control policies, rather than achieving a substantial curb on gun violence. Even the Governor herself, answering questions from journalists during a recent press conference, expressed her outlook that this order won’t directly prevent criminals from carrying firearms on the streets of Albuquerque.

However, she did emphasize that the move sends a potent message to the community, encouraging its members to report crimes, offer valuable assistance to law enforcement, and intervene actively. As it stands, no civil penalties have been exacted under this new order, but Grisham insists that a lack of current enforcement does not imply that the order will not be effectively enforced.

The order acknowledged exceptions for security guards and law enforcement officials. Those with legal firearm permits can still maintain their firearms on private property, granted they’re locked away in a secure box with a trigger lock or any mechanism ensuring the firearm’s incapability to be fired. The emergency order is also directing state officials to conduct monthly inspections of firearm dealers.

The ban has elicited mixed reactions amongst local law enforcement; while Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina assured state police Officers would handle the civil violations of the order, Bernalillo County police, under Sheriff John Allen’s directive, shall refrain from enforcing the order, citing potential officer liabilities.

Grisham retorted against law enforcement’s refusal to enforce her mandate, defending her rights as a governor and firmly challenging law enforcement to demonstrate how they intend to ensure safety for the community.

As for the longevity of the ban, it is set for 30 days, contingent on its ability to withstand the legal backlash expected over the upcoming month. This “total carry ban” sets a groundbreaking precedent, and many believe the order’s broad scope sets it apart from previous legislative efforts towards gun restriction.

Yet the road ahead is fraught with challenges. While some residents and advocacy groups have demonstrated support, there has also been strong reproach from gun-rights advocates and organizations. High-profile figures and gun restriction advocates have voiced concerns over the mandate’s constitutional legality, and multiple lawsuits have ensued, alleging gubernatorial overreach and Second Amendment rights infringement.

Nevertheless, Grisham and her team are prepared to counter the legal challenges brought against her decision. Whether this order stands strong or crumbles under legal pressure will not only determine its potential restriction on gun violence but may redefine future gun control efforts across the United States. Undoubtedly, her bold move, while contentious, sparks an intense debate worth having over the cost of public safety in turbulent times.


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