ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — Will Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s ban on guns in certain spaces around Bernalillo County and Albuquerque stand? Both sides made their case to a federal court judge Tuesday.
The judge ruled that the temporary restraining order against enforcement of the gun ban will be extended until October 11; at that point, the judge will determine whether the latest version of the public health order will stand.
“Governments are going to react when judges tell them that they screwed up, and that’s what Governor Grisham did. We think she still screwed up, and we’re still here to teach her that the constitution actually matters in the state of New Mexico,” said Cameron Atkinson, attorney for We The Patriots USA.
After the original gun ban issued on September 8 had its enforcement blocked in federal court for being overly broad, the governor issued an amended version a week later. The amended ban narrows the scope of the ban on concealed and open carry of guns to parks, playgrounds, and public areas provided for kids to play on.
Gun rights advocates are asking that this second order also be blocked, arguing it’s too vague on which spaces it’s referring to—and unconstitutional. Attorneys argued the average citizen wouldn’t be able to figure out whether an area was classified as ‘provided for’ kids.
“Do we have to look at crime statistics before you carry a firearm for self-defense with your kids in a public area? Or when your neighbor places a sign in the street that says, ‘Kids at play.’ Is that now a gun-free zone,” asked Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, “This was the most egregious ban ever proposed in modern America.”
Defense counsel for the governor argued people would be able to discern that distinction, and said this order gives children a place to play without fear of gun violence. Defense counsel for the governor said in court Tuesday that they would be looking at extending the gun ban at least once for another 30-day period, should it stand.
“After the judge threw down the first public health order, the governor had to change it and now I think we’re going to see this judge do the exact same thing which is throw this one out too,” Brown said.
Attorneys have until Friday to get their supplemental briefs to the judge to look at before he makes his decision on whether the order will stand.
“The judge is going to be a typical federal judge. He’s going to issue a well-considered, thoughtful decision and that’s what we come to expect in federal court,” Atkinson stated.
Atkinson told News 13 if the judge upholds the order, they will appeal the decision: “If it’s not in our favor, we’ll appeal to the United State’s Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and if they don’t rule in our favor, we’ll see what the U.S. Supreme Court [will do].”
“We want to put this to bed once and for all: you can’t do this! Governor, you can’t do this! Sorry, the Second Amendment applies, even in New Mexico,” Brown commented.