Estancia requires people be ‘legally armed’ to enter town meetings, ACLU threatens lawsuit

Politics - Government

ESTANCIA, N.M. (KRQE) – A civil rights group is calling out a New Mexico town that will soon be requiring people to be “legally armed” to enter town meetings. Estancia Mayor Nathan Dial said the new rule set to go into effect Dec. 7 doesn’t mean everyone will be armed with a weapon.


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“‘Legally armed’ is everything from showing up with the knowledge, willing to fight. The pen is mightier than the sword – to actually carrying, open-armed. Or, concealed carry,” Mayor Dial explained.

He’s claiming this order is about protecting people’s Second Amendment rights and sending a message to the state. This comes as New Mexico is banning deadly weapons at the state Capitol, starting Dec. 6. That includes firearms, knives, brass knuckles, and sharpened canes.

Dial wants to make it clear through this new directive that Estancia has no plans of enacting a similar ban, and is urging the state to reconsider its upcoming change. “We are a Second Amendment city within a Second Amendment county,” Dial said.

In response, the ACLU of New Mexico sent a letter to dial and the Estancia Board of Trustees, urging them to rescind the rule the ACLU claims is a First Amendment violation that could keep people from going to town meetings, and could also make some people feel unsafe.

Dial said he won’t be enforcing the new order. “It’s not designed for someone to have to have a firearm. It’s designed to tell the state that, ‘No, what you did unconstitutionally at the state level will not come down in the municipality of Estancia,'” Dial stated.

The ACLU is threatening a lawsuit if the Estancia board of trustees does not rescind the mayor’s rule by Nov. 30.

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