ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico group called the Patriots Advocacy Coalition is calling out Mayor Tim Keller saying the City of Albuquerque has no right banning guns at community centers. The group is now suing the city.
Last month, Mayor Tim Keller signed an executive order outlawing guns in all Albuquerque’s community centers, multi-generational and senior centers. His objective, to keep children and families safe.
Now Attorney Blair Dunn and his clients say what Mayor Keller is doing is violating the law. “That’s not exactly the way that statue reads. It doesn’t support that interpretation,” said Dunn.
The administrative instruction was signed by Sarita Nair, Albuquerque’s chief administrative officer.
The city cites a state statute that prohibits anyone from carrying a gun on any school or university campus. The city argues public areas that are not a part of a school, fall under this stature if they serve children. Those areas would be the community, senior and multigeneration centers.
Dunn challenges the city’s interpretation. “They’ve tried to creatively come up with this idea that they’re not actually creating a new regulation that they’re just reinterpreting school premises to mean these community centers,” said Dunn.
That’s why Dunn has filed this lawsuit on behalf of his clients. A mother who’s concerned about protecting her family and the New Mexico Patriots Advocacy Coalition. They make a familiar argument argue gun control.
“The city should be focusing on a way to help people deal with mental illness rather than trying to treat the symptom of the mental illness, which is the violence that we’re seeing,” said Dunn.
The City of Albuquerque refused to do an on-camera interview with KRQE. However, the deputy city attorney told KRQE they have not been served with the lawsuit yet and maintain that Mayor Keller’s administrative action is legally defensible.