New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham SUSPENDS right to carry firearms in public after boy shot dead outside minor league baseball stadium and girl killed as she slept amid surge in gun violence
- Michelle Lujan Grisham suspended the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for at least 30 days
- An 11-year-old boy was shot dead outside a league baseball stadium Wednesday
- Albuquerque police chief said he won’t enforce it and Bernalillo County Sheriff said he has concerns but will cooperate
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham suspended the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for at least 30 days.
The emergency order came after the tragic shooting death of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium and the killing of a 5-year-old girl as she slept.
‘When New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game — when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn — something is very wrong,’ Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
The Democratic governor said she expects legal challenges but was compelled to act. She added that state police are responsible for enforcing the order.
Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said he won’t enforce it and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he has concerns but will cooperate.
A suspected road rage shooting Wednesday in Albuquerque killed 11-year-old Froyland Villegas when he was leaving a baseball game with family.
Someone in a black SUV fired 17 shots at the family’s truck parking outside a minor league baseball stadium, Isotopes Park.
The boy’s aunt was critically injured. Villegas’ mother and infant brother were in the backseat and were not struck by gunfire.
Last month, 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was shot to death while asleep in a motor home. Four teens entered the community in two stolen cars on August 13 and opened fire on the trailer, according to police.
The little girl was struck in the head by a rifle’s bullet and later died at a hospital. The teens face murder charges.
The governor also cited a shooting death in Taos County, New Mexico, of 13-year-old Amber Archuleta. A 14-year-old boy shot and killed the girl with his father´s gun while they were at his home, authorities said.
The firearms suspension applies to open and concealed carry from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The restriction is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met by the metropolitan Albuquerque.
Violators could face a fine up to $5,000 and civil penalties, gubernatorial spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney said. Under the order, residents can still transport guns to some private locations, such as a gun range or gun store.
‘While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,’ Allen said.
‘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,’ the sheriff added.
The top-ranked Republican in the state Senate swiftly denounced the governor’s actions Friday to restrict guns as a way to stem violent crime.
‘A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do? She… targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order,’ Sen. Greg Baca of Belen said.
Lujan Grisham has signed a draft of legislation restricting access to guns since 2019. She extended background-check requirements to nearly all private gun sales in New Mexico by the 2020 ‘red flag’ law, which allows police or sheriff´s deputies to ask a court to temporarily remove guns from people who might hurt themselves or others.
She also signed a ban on firearms possession for people under permanent protective orders for domestic violence.
Friday´s order directs state regulators to conduct monthly inspections of firearms dealers statewide to ensure compliance with gun laws.
Enforcing the governor’s order also could put Albuquerque police in a difficult position with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding a police reform settlement, said police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos.
“All of those are unsettled questions,” he said late Friday.
The state Department of Health will compile a report on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals that includes age, race, gender and ethnicity, along with the brand and caliber of firearm involved and other general circumstances.