Federal judge partially blocks New Mexico governor’s controversial gun order

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FILE - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham talks. Morgan Lee / AP Photo

A federal judge blocked parts of a controversial gun control measure from New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today.

U.S. District Judge David Urias temporarily blocked the law on Wednesday afternoon. The judge ruled that the executive order runs contrary to recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gun rights, violating people’s abilities to defend themselves.

“They just want the right to carry their guns,” Urias said of the plaintiffs who asked for restraining orders in response to the executive order.

Lujan Grisham signed an executive order banning carrying a loaded firearm in public in Bernalillo County, including Albuquerque, for 30 days. People who violate the rule face a civil fine of $5,000, as The Center Square previously reported.

The executive order faced widespread backlash, including critiques from gun rights organizations, law enforcement, and elected officials, alike. 

Two key defections presaged the judge’s decision.

On Tuesday, New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez told the fellow Democrat in a letter that he thought the gun control executive order she signed last week was unconstitutional. 

“I am writing to inform you that my office will not defend your administration in the above-referenced cases challenging the Public Health Emergency Order Imposing Temporary Firearm Restrictions, Drug Monitoring and Other Public Safety Measures (the Emergency Order) issued by the Secretary of Health on September 8, 2023,” Torrez wrote.

On Monday, one of the state’s Democratic Senators also attacked the order. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich wrote in a release that, “We need to focus on solutions that are constitutional and enforceable. That’s what will save lives.”

Local law enforcement had refused to enforce the order. 

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen told ABC, “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.”

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.