Sep 13, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Judge blocks New Mexico governor's temporary gun ban

Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico, speaks during a New Mexico Democrats rally with US President Joe Biden in Albuquerque, New Mexico, US, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during a November event in Albuquerque. Photo: Adria Malcolm/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Parts of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's emergency health order suspending the right to carry guns in public in the state's largest metro area was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in Albuquerque on Wednesday.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge David Urias said in his decision that the 30-day suspension in Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County contravened a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said it's a constitutional right to carry a weapon in public for self-defense purposes.

The big picture: Grisham is facing multiple lawsuits from gun rights groups on Second Amendment grounds for her emergency public health order, which has drawn criticism from Republicans and some Democrats who argue it violates the U.S. Constitution.

  • New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez (D) said Tuesday he wouldn't defend the Democratic governor's administration against lawsuits challenging the restrictions on the open and concealed carry of firearms because he doesn't believe they would "have any meaningful impact on public safety" and he does "not believe it passes constitutional muster."

What they're saying: Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, one of the groups suing Grisham over her action, said in a statement it will continue pressing to extend the judge's temporary restraining order into a permanent order.

  • "And we will not rest until all those in New Mexico who played a role in this action are held accountable for this gross assault on our rights," he added.

The other side: "Today a judge temporarily blocked sections of our public health order but recognized the significant problem of gun violence in this state," Grisham said in a statement.

  • "I refuse to be resigned to the status quo, and I will never stop fighting to prevent other families from enduring these tragedies."

What's next: Urias scheduled a hearing on the matter for Oct. 3.

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