/New Mexico governor narrows gun ban to Albuquerque parks and playgrounds

New Mexico governor narrows gun ban to Albuquerque parks and playgrounds

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday banned firearms from parks and playgrounds in the Albuquerque area after a federal judge blocked her broader order suspending certain gun rights to combat violence.

The revised order comes a week after the Democratic governor announced a 30-day ban on the right to carry open or concealed firearms in public in an effort to curb gun violence and illegal drug use in Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County.

“I respect the judge’s decision on the last public order, but I am far from done fighting to protect New Mexicans,” Lujan Grisham wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

U.S. District Judge David Urias on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of Lujan Grisham’s ban, which had ignited bipartisan opposition, prompting bipartisan backlash at the state, local and federal level.

Raúl Torrez, the state’s Democratic attorney general said that he would not defend the governor’s administration against a string of lawsuits stemming from the ban, arguing that he didn’t believe it passed “constitutional muster.” Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, a fellow Democrat, also refused to enforce the ban on constitutional grounds.

The narrowed order is the latest effort by Lujan Grisham to curb gun violence in New Mexico.

“I’m going to continue pushing to make sure that all of us are using every resource available to put an end to this public health emergency with the urgency it deserves,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement Friday. “I will not accept the status quo — enough is enough.”

The governor’s new order, though, might have a limited effect. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller banned guns from almost all city parks in 2020, public radio station KUNM reported.

Efforts similar to Lujan Grisham’s have been unsuccessful elsewhere.

Last year, a judge blocked enforcement of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s executive order barring guns and other deadly weapons from the city’s recreation facilities, including playgrounds, pools, courts and fields.

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