April 24, 2024

New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham scales back health order to combat gun violence

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued a new health order scaling back gun control measures her administration had imposed earlier this month. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 17 (UPI) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued a new health order scaling back gun control measures her administration had imposed earlier this month.

Lujan Grisham announced a plan on Sept. 8 to temporarily ban the carrying of firearms in public areas and on government property in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County surrounding it amid an increase in gun violence.

The ban had made exceptions for law enforcement and licensed security officers and did not apply to private property or on the premises of a licensed gun dealer or gunsmith for lawful transfer or repair.

Lujan Grisham noted that two mass shootings this year and the recent shooting deaths of three children — a 13-year-old girl on July 28, a 5-year-old girl on Aug. 14 and an 11-year-old boy on Sept. 6 — had spurred the decision.

“The time for standard measures has passed,” Lujan Grisham said at the time.

However, the temporary order had struck a nerve with Republicans and Democrats alike in the state as several groups filed lawsuits claiming the ban violated the U.S. Constitution.

The National Association for Gun Rights quickly filed a legal challenge in court seeking to stop the ban from taking effect.

U.S. District Judge David Urias granted a temporary restraining order blocking measure, which came after New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez — a fellow Democrat — said he would not defend the governor from any legal challenges to the order.

“Governor Grisham’s tyranny is temporarily in check today,” said Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, in a statement after the judge’s ruling. “Her own Attorney General has refused to defend her in court and the Biden-appointed judge won’t back her play.”

The revised order announced Friday effectively replaced the blocked ban and would simply suspend the carrying of firearms at parks and playgrounds in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

It also clarified that the 30-day limitation does not apply to parklands managed by the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department or State Land Office.

“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 statement revealing the revised public health order. “I will not accept the status quo — enough is enough.”

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