Salem Radio Network News Sunday, September 24, 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 the state governor’s ban on carrying guns in Albuquerque and its surrounding county, a move which threw the state into the center of the U.S. gun-rights debate.

U.S. District Court Judge David Urias said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 30-day suspension of concealed and open firearm carry rights went against a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that people had a right to carry a gun outside their homes for self defense.

“They just want the right to carry their guns,” Urias said of the several plaintiffs who requested restraining orders against 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.

Gun control campaigners called the move “courageous” and the Catholic Archbishop of Santa Fe feared more value was being given to gun rights than the life of an 11-year-old boy shot dead last week in an apparent Albuquerque road rage incident.

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.

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 Diane Craft and Stephen Coates)


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