The thirty-day suspension of open and concealed-carry permits by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), is now enjoined.
Grisham loses – before a Democratic judge
Last week, Gov. Grisham signed an Executive Order declaring a public health emergency. The next day, Patrick Allen, New Mexico Secretary of Health, signed a Public Health Order suspending all gun carry permits for thirty days.
Immediately Randy Donk, for himself and for Gun Owners of America, sued in the State’s Federal District Court. (Donk v. Grisham; see the docket page.) On Monday (September 11), Judge David H. Urias at first scheduled a hearing on a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) motion, then vacated that schedule. Yesterday Judge Urias rescheduled the hearing, for today.
According to the Associated Press (via Station WCSC-TV, Channel 5), Judge Urias today enjoined that part of the Public Health Order suspending the concealed-carry and open-carry permits. He issued the Temporary Restraining Order, then set a full evidentiary hearing for October 3.
The TRO is not yet available from CourtListener at time of posting. But the AP article quotes Judge Urias’ findings at today’s hearing. “I don’t blame her for wanting to take action in the face of terrible acts,” he said. But such action could not infringe upon people’s Constitutional rights.
Judge Urias enjoined only the carry permit suspensions. He did not enjoin the enhanced inspections of gun dealers, or reporting on gunshot cases from New Mexico hospitals. Nor did he enjoin the testing of wastewater for illicit substances.
Lack of official support
The four most relevant local officials – the Mayor and Chief of Police of Albuquerque (the only city subject to the permit suspensions) and the Sheriff and District Attorney for Bernalillo County – all refused to enforce the carry permit suspension. Even the Attorney General of New Mexico refused to defend against any legal challenges. He made that announcement presumably after Randy Donk served him with legal papers in his lawsuit (see the docket page). The only support Grisham had, if one can call it that, was a suggestion that she call a special session of the legislature to consider more comprehensive measures to prevent street violence.
The TRO surprises many, because Judge Urias is a Biden appointee. However, even some of the most ardent gun-control advocates quailed at using a public health order for the purpose.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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