U.S. District Judge David Urias delivered a significant blow to New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent public health order, which temporarily halted the public carrying of firearms in New Mexico’s primary metropolitan area. The emergency order had been Governor Grisham’s response to multiple fatal shootings, including the tragic death of an 11-year-old boy in Albuquerque.

The order, introduced last Friday, specifically curtailed open and concealed firearm carry in places with certain violent crime thresholds, primarily impacting Albuquerque and its surrounding regions. Violators risked civil penalties and fines up to $5,000. However, prominent figures such as Bernalillo County’s Sheriff John Allen and Albuquerque’s Police Chief Harold Medina openly declined to enforce the order. New Mexico’s Attorney General, Raúl Torrez, also stated his inability to defend this directive.

Gun rights advocates immediately filed a flurry of lawsuits, citing Second Amendment infringements. While tensions escalate, the political divide has widened, with the legislative Republican majority even mulling impeachment against the governor.

Governor Grisham stands her ground amidst growing protests. Yet, critics like Mark Abramson, a gun shop owner, question the efficacy of her move. Other Democrats suggest a more comprehensive legislative approach would be more beneficial.

Bernalillo County, an area profoundly affected by the order, boasts over 14,500 concealed carry license holders for the 2023 fiscal year. Although state police reported no citations concerning the order, many argue its introduction was misguided.

Steven Hebbe, the head of the New Mexico Chiefs of Police Association, voiced a similar sentiment, advocating for a special legislative session focused on gun violence instead. This sentiment was echoed by Albuquerque’s leadership, with Mayor Tim Keller emphasizing the need to prioritize combating violent crime over divisive political debates.



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