An 11-year old kid was killed this week after an Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game, in a road rage incident. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham decided enough was enough, and imposed a suspension on open and concealed carry for 30 days in Albuquerque and the surrounding county.
Lujan Grisham said she anticipated legal challenges to this action, and some other officials in the state quickly criticized the move and suggested it was unconstitutional. But she defended the step as vitally necessary for public safety.
The governor said the suspension was a civil order and would be enforced by the state police, rather than any local law enforcement agency. The people who violate the measure would face fines.
Albuquerque, which is the state’s most populous city with more than half a million residents, has in recent years endured a painful increase in gun violence. In each of the last two years, the city set records in terms of homicides. Other communities across the country have also experienced bleak increases in gun violence in recent years. [Gift link]
Obviously there will be legal challenges, and some are already not happy about the suspension.
[Bernalillo County Sheriff John] Allen also said in a statement that he had “reservations regarding this order.”
“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of the Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” said Allen, who took office earlier this year. “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”
Also on Friday, Lujan Grisham declared an emergency involving drugs, with her order saying that “drug abuse, including the misuse of prescription opioids, fentanyl, heroin, and other illicit substances” was a statewide public health emergency. This order, too, said that it would take effect immediately and remain in place through Oct. 6.