Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 30, 2023


US judge freezes New Mexico governor’s gun ban

By Andrew Hay

(Reuters) -A federal judge in New Mexico on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order against state Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s ban on carrying guns in Albuquerque and its surrounding county, on grounds it violated the U.S. constitution.

U.S. District Court Judge David Urias said the governor’s 30-day suspension of concealed and open firearm carry rights went against recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings and violated the rights of law-abding citizens to defend themselves.

“They just want the right to carry their guns,” Urias said of the several plaintiffs who requested restraining orders on Lujan Grisham’s Sept. 8 emergency public health order.

The Democratic governor issued the suspension on firearm carry laws to offer a “cooling-off period” in which authorities could address solutions to the state’s high rates of gun crime after several children were fatally shot.

Lujan Grisham’s order outraged gun-rights advocates and drew backlash from fellow Democrats and law enforcement officials, also Democrats, who called it unconstitutional.

Albuquerque’s mayor and Bernalillo County’s sheriff, both Democrats, have urged Lujan Grisham to call a special state legislative session on gun crime after the gun ban threw the state into the center of the U.S. gun-rights debate.

Mayor Tim Keller said that, in order to fight gun crime, he needed legislation to fix a broken criminal justice system, regulate assault weapons and provide addiction and mental health services, among other measures.

“Albuquerque families can’t afford political debates that distract us from fighting violent crime,” Keller wrote in a letter to the governor.

Gun violence kills around 500 people a year in New Mexico, which ranks sixth among U.S. states for gun deaths per capita, according to gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety. Albuquerque is among the 10 most dangerous U.S. cities, based on FBI violent crime data.

Lujan Grisham favors a ban on so-called semi-automatic assault weapons, among other gun control measures, and her office on Wednesday welcomed Keller’s call for a special legislative session.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay; additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw. Editing by Donna Bryson, Louise Heavens and Diane Craft)


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