ESTANCIA, N.M. (KRQE) – The mayor of Estancia says it’s a simple misunderstanding. Many believed the town meeting rule he created, required everyone to be armed to attend. The ACLU was threatening to sue and now claims Mayor Nathan Dial’s rule is a First Amendment violation. The mayor is looking to refine the rule and clear up any confusion.

Story continues below

“In speaking with the ACLU we agree with the vagueness of our rule. I’ve already spoke to them, we’re going to rewrite our rule and in all reality, at this point, we’re probably going to postpone the implementation of it until we do get the verbiage down,” Mayor Dial said.

Mayor Dial says the rule will simply allow anybody who attends a meeting to legally open carry if they want to, but it’s not a requirement. He says this is in direct response to the state of New Mexico banning deadly weapons at the state Capitol including firearms, knives, brass knuckles and sharpened canes. 

Mayor Dial wants to send a message to lawmakers. “The state has implied that their rule is going to be such a great rule that it’s going to be pushed down to the municipal level and we’re just pushing back to show them no, we do not infringe on rights within the municipality of Estancia,” he said.

ACLU’S Deputy Legal Director said the group is holding off on filing a lawsuit for now but it’s not off the table. As Mayor Dial stated, the rule in Estancia is not going into effect on December 7 like originally intended. He says he needs to re-work the language.  

The ban of weapons at the state Capitol goes into effect on December 6 which is the start of a special session.