New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a public health order suspending open and concealed carry of firearms in Bernalillo County public places for the next 30 days. Bernalillo County is the home of Albuquerque.
The Governor announced in a press conference Friday that she was taking the extraordinary step after the death of an 11-year-old due to a gunshot and several other shootings. She made the announcement alongside other New Mexico officials, all of whom had taken solemn oaths to support and defend the Constitution.
The Governor claims she has the power because “gun violence” is a “public health crisis.”
The order will almost certainly be challenged on Constitutional grounds. The move seems to run afoul of the Bruen Decision, which said individuals have the right to carry firearms outside the home. The Supreme Court did not make any exceptions for “public health.” In fact, the decision knocked down interest balancing. The Governor stated she expects legal challenges to the order.
AmmoLand News has reached out to several gun rights organizations to get comments. Gun Owners of America (GOA) responded, and the organization is aware of the Governor’s actions and is looking at options to challenge it.
One Cuban American who works for GOA compared the order to the country his family fled.
“New Mexico’ Governor has violated the rights of New Mexico’s law-abiding citizens in a manner I would only expect to see 90 miles off the coast of Florida,” said Luis Valdes, Florida Director, GOA. “In the Communist Hellscape that is Cuba. Criminals will continue to break the law, and the law-abiding will suffer because of it.”
Besides the restriction on carrying firearms outside of one’s residence, there were several other stipulations introduced. Including one measure that will place increased pressure on the locally owned and operated gun shops, implementing monthly inspections of federal firearms licensees (FFL) by the state.
• The Regulation and Licensing Division will conduct monthly inspections of licensed firearm dealers to ensure compliance with all sales and storage laws.
• The Department of Health, along with the Environment Department, will begin wastewater testing for illegal substances such as fentanyl at schools.
• The Department of Health will compile and issue a comprehensive report on gunshot victims presenting at hospitals in New Mexico, which shall include (if available): demographic data of gunshot victims, including age, gender, race, and ethnicity; data on gunshot victims’ healthcare outcomes; the brand and caliber of the firearm used; the general circumstances leading to the injury; the impact of gunshot victims on New Mexico’s healthcare system; and any other pertinent information.
• No firearms are allowed on state property, including state buildings and schools. This also includes other places of education where children gather, such as parks.
• New Mexico State Police will add officers in Albuquerque with funding for overtime provided.
• The Children, Youth, and Families Department will immediately suspend the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and evaluate juvenile probation protocols.
No lawsuits have been announced, but it is not a question of if. It is only a question of how many and when the cases will be filed.
UPDATE 9/9/2023 Local Law Enforcement have begun to weigh in:
Statement from Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen:
“…However, as the elected Sheriff, I have 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.
I was elected to represent and safeguard all constituents and to ensure the balance between our rights and public safety is maintained. That means we must critically evaluate any proposed solution to the deeply rooted issue of gun violence, ensuring we both protect our community and uphold the values that define us as a nation.” ~ Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen.
Albuquerque Police Department Chief Medina sent the following message to APD officers about the governor’s state order on gun possession.
Late Saturday, September 9th, 2023, Gun Owners of America filed a Temporary Restraining Order against the NM Governor’s unconstitutional order.
RANDY DONK, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, INC. and GUN OWNERS FOUNDATION, Plaintiffs, v. Civil Action No. 1:23-cv-…
New Mexico Suspends Concealed Carry Public Health Order
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people from all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.