Federal Judge Blocks New Mexico Governor’s Park Carry Ban

(ReliableNews.org) – In early September, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a temporary 30-day ban on open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County, with exceptions for police and licensed security guards. Her decision followed the shooting deaths of several children this year. Soon after, a federal judge halted the order, stating it conflicted with the Second Amendment. Lujan Grisham swiftly amended her order, but that one faces legal challenges as well.

On December 6, Bearing Arms reported that US District Judge Kea Riggs granted an injunction on the temporary ban. The order blocked police from enforcing the ban in parks but kept the suspension in place for playgrounds. Riggs found that the governor and the New Mexico Department of Health failed to show a history of disallowing firearms in parks. However, the judge said playgrounds fell into the category of “sensitive places” where guns could be prohibited without violating the right to bear arms.

Riggs cited New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen in the ruling, stating the district court was bound by the precedent set by the US Supreme Court. Riggs said even if the plaintiff had standing to “challenge the firearm restriction in playgrounds,” the court would still not reverse the restriction set by Lujan Grisham in that area.

In Bruen, SCOTUS ruled that the existing New York law was unconstitutional, stating that the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense was rooted in American history and tradition. However, the justices found that laws can still enforce restrictions on certain “sensitive places” like schools, government buildings, and airports. The court didn’t define the area that fit into that category specifically, leaving it open to interpretation. Riggs felt fitting playgrounds into that bucket was appropriate.

The governor of New Mexico has not publicly responded to the ruling and it’s unclear what action she will take next — if any.

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