New Mexico Public Parks May Allow Guns Following Recent Federal Court Ruling

Aiexpress – A federal judge in New Mexico is maintaining her ruling to block certain provisions of a public health order issued by the state’s governor, which aimed to restrict the carrying of firearms in numerous public parks around Albuquerque. The decision is currently being appealed in a higher court.

Judge Kae Riggs of Albuquerque has denied a request from the governor to keep a temporary ban on firearms in some public places in greater Albuquerque, including most public parks.

According to Riggs, it has been determined that Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has not previously shown a precedent of prohibiting firearms in public parks or similar areas. This conclusion was made in response to a lawsuit filed by James Springer, a resident of Torrance County and one of the plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits against the governor by advocates of gun rights.

A. Blair Dunn, the attorney representing Springer, expressed his support for the judge’s order, stating, “Our position is that’s not something that is contemplated under the Second Amendment.”

Last year, Governor Riggs celebrated a victory when U.S. District Judge David Urias ruled in favor of his temporary firearms restrictions, rejecting a request from other gun rights advocates to block them. Now, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver will have the task of reconciling the conflicting orders from Urias and Riggs.

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According to Lujan Grisham spokesperson Maddy Hayden, the governor respectfully disagrees with Riggs.

According to Hayden, the opinion of Judge Riggs fails to consider the existing caselaw and the extensive historical evidence in the record that supports the constitutionality of the temporary restrictions imposed by the public health order. Hayden expressed disagreement with the opinion and is confident that their ongoing appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will ultimately succeed.

New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham, a Democrat serving her second term, implemented the emergency orders in response to a series of gun violence incidents. This included the tragic shooting of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium.

Gun rights advocates are also pushing for the New Mexico Supreme Court to halt the implementation of these orders. Recently, the court listened to arguments presented by Republican state legislators, the National Rifle Association, and a group of residents from the Albuquerque area who filed a lawsuit.

The rest of the public health orders have not changed, and they continue to include various directives. These directives include monthly inspections of firearm dealers across the state, reports on gunshot victims at hospitals in New Mexico, wastewater testing for illicit substances at schools, and more.

During the 30-day legislative session, which is set to conclude on February 15, Governor Lujan Grisham is actively pushing for a comprehensive range of legislative proposals focused on gun control and stricter penalties for violent crime.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Christine Chandler, of Los Alamos, led the charge in advancing a proposal aimed at strengthening New Mexico’s red-flag gun law. The bill received support from Democrats in its first House committee hearing, with a 4-2 party-line vote. However, two Republican lawmakers who are pursuing impeachment proceedings against the governor for her emergency health orders on gun violence voted against the bill.

New Mexico implemented its red-flag law in 2020 as a response to a tragic mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The law was designed to remove firearms from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. In an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the law, there are proposed changes that would streamline the process of obtaining an “extreme risk” order to seize firearms. Additionally, the scope of individuals who can petition for the temporary removal of guns would be expanded to include healthcare professionals.

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