Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public in and around Albuquerque, the state’s largest city. The order comes in response to a spate of gun violence, culminating in the fatal shooting of 11-year-old Froyland Villegas outside a minor league baseball stadium this week.
The suspension, which is in effect for at least 30 days, does not apply to law enforcement or licensed security guards. Those with concealed carry permits are still allowed to transport guns to some private locations, such as a gun range or gun store, provided that the firearm has a trigger lock or some other container or mechanism that makes it impossible to discharge.
“I welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer,” Governor Grisham said at a news conference, flanked by leading law enforcement officials, including the district attorney for the Albuquerque area. She also affirmed the order was inspired by recent tragedies, such as the five-year-old Galilea Samaniego who was fatally shot while asleep in a motor home, and 13-year-old Amber Archuleta shot and killed at a home by a 14-year-old boy with his father’s gun.
However, the order has been met with swift pushback. Stefani Lord and John Block, state representatives for New Mexico, have called for the impeachment of Governor Grisham, citing the order as “an abhorrent attempt at imposing a radical, progressive agenda on an unwilling populace.” The Bernalillo county sheriff, John Allen, has voiced reservations, saying, “While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold.”
The Governor’s order has also been met with support. Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, praised the order as “a courageous and necessary step to curbing gun violence, even if its legal fate is uncertain.”
Currently, the order is in effect for the foreseeable future, though Governor Grisham has authorized penalties of $5,000 for any violations. In the meantime, there’s continued debate over the effectiveness of the order in preventing gun violence, with both opponents and proponents passionately advocating for their causes.