Federal Judge Rules Against Gun Rights Proponents

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(ReliableNews.org) – In September, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) issued an executive order to address ongoing gun violence in her state. EO 2023-130 stated gun deaths in New Mexico increased by 43% between 2009 and 2018, multiple children recently died from gun violence, and mass shootings are currently on the rise, prompting her to declare a state of emergency. The measure suspended open and concealed carry laws in public spaces in Bernalillo County, including parks and playgrounds. Gun rights advocate Zachary Fort challenged the move in court.

On October 11, the Associated Press reported that a federal judge ruled on the open carry issue, finding that the government can continue restricting gun rights at public parks and playgrounds in the Albuquerque area. US District Judge David Urias rejected Fort’s request to temporarily ban the restriction until the legal challenges make their way through the courts.

The judge said the plaintiffs didn’t prove their case that “sensitive” places only apply to polling places and other areas essential to a functioning government. Urias reasoned that the Supreme Court recognized “schools as sensitive places” and, since playgrounds and schools go hand-in-hand, such places should also be considered sensitive. His ruling kept the governor’s restrictions in place.

Grisham’s original order was supposed to expire on October 6, but the state leader renewed the restrictions for an additional 30 days. In fact, she instructed the New Mexico Department of Health to detail the restrictions imposed as long as the state of emergency is in effect. While the standing order gives state police the authority to fine offenders, the Albuquerque police chief has reportedly refused to enforce the law. It’s unclear if there will be any consequences for the inaction.

According to AP, Fort said he was “disappointed” by the judge’s ruling, stating it was “too early” to reveal his next steps in the matter.

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