New Mexico Governor Forbids Carrying Firearms In Emergency Order

Last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) ordered that carrying firearms in the city of Albuquerque will be illegal for the following 30 days. The directive, which included both concealed and open carry, was done under the auspices of a public emergency.

Lujan Grisham made the announcement after a number of shootings in the New Mexico city. The order, which would be in effect starting Sept. 8 would be in effect for 30 days.
The governor argued that no constitutional right “is intended to be absolute.”

The decision was made in the name of a public health emergency.

The governor said in a statement that “temporary firearm restrictions, drug monitoring and other public safety measures are necessary to address the current public health emergencies.”

Under the executive order, no one other than security guards and law enforcement “shall possess a firearm” in public spaces within “cities or counties averaging 1,000 or more violent crimes per 100,000 residents per year since 2021.”

The state will also conduct “monthly inspections” of licensed firearms dealers to enforce the order.

The executive order was issued in response to the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy.

The move has already invited a court challenge.

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said that his department would not be enforcing the mandate.

“Our officers at APD will continue to focus on the enforcement of criminal laws and arresting the criminals who are driving violent crime in the city,” he said. “We have arrested over 200 murder suspects in the last two years and field officers are making dozens of felony arrests every day.”

The order was also criticized by Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen (D), who expressed concern about its constitutionality.

The sheriff said that he had “reservations regarding this order. While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold. I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”