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New Mexico governor issues order suspending the right to carry firearms in public in Albuquerque

The firearm suspension, classified as an emergency public health order, applies to open and concealed carry in most public places, from city sidewalks to urban recreation parks. The restriction is tied to a violent crime rate threshold currently met only by metropolitan Albuquerque. Police and licensed security guards are exempt from the temporary ban.

Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000, said the governor’s spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney. Under the order, residents can still transport firearms to certain private places, such as a shooting range or gun store, as long as the firearm has a safety lock. trigger or other container or mechanism making unloading impossible.

Lujan Grisham admitted that not all law enforcement officials agreed with his decision.

“I welcome the debate and the fight on how to make New Mexicans safer,” she said at a news conference, accompanied by law enforcement officials, including the district attorney. Albuquerque area.

John Allen said in a statement Friday that he had reservations about the order but was willing to cooperate to combat gun violence.

“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban calls into question the foundation of our Constitution, which I have sworn to uphold,” Allen said. “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 exercising their constitutional right to self-defense.”

Implementing the governor’s order could also put Albuquerque police in a difficult position with the U.S. Department of Justice over a deal on police reform, police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said. .

“All these questions remain unanswered,” he said Friday evening.

Lujan Grisham referenced several recent shootings in Albuquerque when issuing the order. Among them was a suspected road rage shooting Wednesday outside a minor league ballpark that killed 11-year-old Froyland Villegas and seriously injured a woman as their vehicle was strewn with bullets as the people were leaving the game.

Last month, 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was fatally shot while sleeping in a motorhome. Four teenagers entered the mobile home community in two stolen vehicles early on August 13 and opened fire on the trailer, police say. The girl was hit in the head and later died in hospital.

The governor also cited the August shooting death in Taos County of 13-year-old Amber Archuleta. A 14-year-old boy shot the girl with her father’s gun while they were at his home, authorities said.

“When New Mexicans are afraid to stand in crowds, to take their children to school, to leave a baseball game – when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn – something is seriously wrong,” Lujan Grisham said. in a report.

The top Republican in the state Senate was quick to denounce the governor’s actions on Friday to restrict guns as a way to stem violent crime.

“A child is murdered, the attacker is still at large, and what does the governor do? It…targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun ordinance,” said Sen. Greg Baca de Belen.

Miranda Viscoli, co-chair of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, praised the governor’s order as a courageous and necessary step to curb gun violence, even though the measure’s legal fate is uncertain.

“If it saves one life, it’s worth it,” Viscoli said.

Since 2019, Lujan Grisham has signed a series of laws restricting access to guns, including a 2020 “red flag” law allowing police or sheriff’s deputies to ask a court to temporarily remove people’s guns likely to harm themselves or others, an extension of their history. -check the requirements of almost all private gun sales.

She also signed a gun ownership ban for people placed under permanent protective orders for domestic violence.

Friday’s order directs state regulators to conduct monthly inspections of gun dealers statewide to ensure compliance with gun laws.

The state Department of Health will compile a report on gunshot victims in New Mexico hospitals that will include age, race, gender and ethnicity, as well as the brand and caliber of gun. the firearm involved and other general circumstances.


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