New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an emergency order suspending for at least a month the right to carry firearms in public in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
According to Lujan Grisham, the order was issued due to the recent increase in crimes and deaths related to gun violence. She mentioned several recent shootings that have taken place in Albuquerque:
As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed (...) And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their children to school, to leave a baseball game, when their right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn, something is very wrong.
Police and other licensed security guards who are authorized to carry weapons are exempt from the temporary ban. People who do not comply with the order could be sanctioned with fines of up to $5,000:
The action plan includes a suspension of open and concealed carry laws (...) temporarily prohibiting the carrying of guns on public property with certain exceptions. Exceptions include for licensed security guards and law enforcement officers.
"The temporary ban challenges the foundations of our constitution"
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen expressed concern about the effects and consequences of the order. He further argued that "the temporary ban challenges the foundations of our constitution." However, he assured that he would cooperate to fight violence:
While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundations of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold. I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.
Greg Baca, one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the state Senate, criticized the governor's order:
A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do? She... targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order.