In a shocking development, U.S. District Judge David Urias has given the green light to enforce a public health order that suspends the right to carry guns at public parks and playgrounds in New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area. The decision comes in response to gun rights advocates’ request to block these temporary firearms restrictions during the ongoing legal challenges.
Far-left Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sees this as a triumph for public safety, especially in light of recent shootings across the state resulting in tragic outcomes, particularly for children. The move underscores the governor’s obsession with implementing anti-gun edicts, cloaking her actions in recent tragedies.
The attempted restrictions in New Mexico have sparked public protests and elicited calls for the governor’s impeachment from Republicans, led by Reps. Stefani Lord of Sandia Park and John Block of Alamogordo. The issue has also led to increased discord among top Democratic officials. Governor Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, maintains her stance that certain public spaces, deemed sensitive, should restrict the open or concealed carry of firearms.
Despite legal pushback from gun rights advocates, who argue that even a scaled-back version would infringe on Second Amendment rights, Judge Urias denied the request for an injunction. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success in court. He rejected the argument that restrictions for “sensitive” places should only apply to locations serving core government functions.
Judge Urias suggested that determining what constitutes a sensitive place might hinge on factors such as the type of function occurring at those locations and whether vulnerable populations, like children, utilize them. He also acknowledged the possibility that the governor could demonstrate a national historical tradition of firearm restrictions at public parks within cities.
The initial order sought to suspend gun-carry rights in most public places in the Albuquerque area, while the current version narrows the scope to public parks and playgrounds. Notably, an exception ensures access to a municipal shooting range park. The restrictions are tied to a statistical threshold for violent crime specific to the Albuquerque area.
Although state police have the authority to assess civil penalties and fines under the order, the sheriff and Albuquerque’s police chief have previously refused to enforce it. Other aspects of the public health order, including monthly inspections of firearms dealers, reports on gunshot victims, and safe-surrender programs, remain intact.
As a temporary restraining order blocking the gun restrictions was set to expire, this decision by Judge Urias signifies a significant development in the ongoing legal battle surrounding firearms regulations in New Mexico.