New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared that gun violence has become a public health matter and issued an “emergency” order banning the carrying of firearms in Albuquerque. The move came after a wave of homicides, including the murder of an 11-year-old child. Now, gun rights advocates have filed a lawsuit against the order, arguing that it is unconstitutional.
Lujan Grisham’s order, issued on Thursday night, imposed a 30-day ban on the open and concealed carry of firearms ostensibly to cut down on gun violence in the city. The National Association for Gun Rights filed suit against the order on Saturday.
A gun rights group sued New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and other state officials on Saturday over an emergency order banning firearms from being carried in public in Albuquerque.
The National Association for Gun Rights, alongside Albuquerque resident Foster Haines, filed suit just one day after Grisham announced the public health order temporarily suspending concealed and open carry laws in the city.
The group argued that the order violates their Second Amendment rights, pointing to the Supreme Court’s decision last year in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
The high court struck down a New York concealed carry law in the Bruen ruling, finding that firearm regulations must be based in the country’s historic tradition to be considered constitutional.
The complaint notes that New Mexico’s government “must justify the Carry Prohibition by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation” and that “it is impossible for the State to meet this burden, because there is no such historical tradition of firearms regulation in this Nation.”
New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham just declared a “gun violence public emergency” and BANNED the public carry of guns in Albuquerque and the surrounding county by executive order.
— National Association for Gun Rights (@NatlGunRights) September 9, 2023
The governor’s move was met with fiery criticism coming from those in favor of gun rights. Kerry Slone, Director of Education at the Crime Prevention Research Center, told RedState that “this irresponsible act on the governor’s part puts law-abiding citizens, more specifically women, who are significantly targeted more for violent crimes, at a greater risk of being victims.”
Two Republican state lawmakers called for impeaching Gov. Lujan Grisham over the order. State Rep. Stefani Lord, in a written statement, said:
This is an abhorrent attempt at imposing a radical progressive agenda on an unwilling populous. Rather than addressing crime at its core, Governor Grisham is restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Even Grisham believes this emergency order won’t prohibit criminals from carrying or using weapons; a basic admission that this will only put New Mexicans in danger as they won’t be able to defend themselves from violent crime.
Read the full press release below! 👇 pic.twitter.com/r5kt9nOSvI
— Rep Stefani Lord (@Lord4NM) September 9, 2023
New Mexico’s legislature is dominated by Democrats, which means an impeachment effort likely won’t succeed. But with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Bruen, it is highly possible that a court challenge might result in the order being overturned.