New Mexico Governor Bans Public Carry of Firearms in Albuquerque

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A temporary firearms suspension has been implemented in New Mexico in response to a high violent crime rate, particularly in Albuquerque. The emergency public health order applies to open and concealed carry in most public places and violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000. The order, however, has been met with mixed reactions from law enforcement and the public, with some believing it challenges constitutional rights, while others see it as a necessary measure to curb gun violence.

The firearms suspension, an emergency public health order, applies to open and concealed carry in most public places. This rule is activated based on violent crime rates and currently only applies to Albuquerque. The temporary ban does not affect police and licensed security guards.

Violators could face civil penalties and fines up to $5,000, said gubernatorial spokesperson, Caroline Sweeney. While the order permits residents to transport guns to some private locations like gun ranges or stores, it mandates the use of a trigger lock or a secure container.

Governor Lujan Grisham recognized that not all law enforcement officials support her decision. “I welcome the debate about how to make New Mexicans safer,” she commented during a news conference.

John Allen announced his reservations about the order but is ready to cooperate. “The temporary ban challenges our constitution which I promised to uphold,” he said, expressing concern about potential civil liability conflicts and risks posed to law-abiding citizens.

The governor’s order could potentially conflict with a police reform settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, noted police spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos.

Lujan Grisham cited recent Albuquerque shootings in justifying the order, including a fatal suspected road rage incident and an August shooting that killed a 13-year-old. The governor expressed deep concern about the ongoing threat of violence.

The state Senate’s top-ranking Republican, Sen. Greg Baca of Belen, quickly denounced the governor’s actions, arguing they targeted law-abiding citizens. Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, however, applauded the order as a necessary step.

Since 2019, Lujan Grisham has implemented several laws restricting gun access, including a 2020 “red flag” law, extension of background-check requirements, and a ban on firearms possession for individuals under permanent protective orders for domestic violence.

The recent order mandates monthly inspections of firearms dealers and the state Department of Health is to compile a report on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals.

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