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Grisham amends gun carry suspension, will not withdraw it

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) has amended, but will not withdraw, her suspension of carry permits in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Grisham amends gun carry suspension, will not withdraw it

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) yesterday amended her executive and public-health orders to suspend concealed-carry and open-carry rights. Instead of applying to all public properties, the suspension now applies only to public parks and playgrounds where children gather. Still, plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits vowed to keep contesting the order(s).

Grisham order blocked, but governor will not withdraw it

On Wednesday (September 13), Judge David H. Urias of the U.S. District Court for New Mexico issued a temporary restraining order in a suit by Randy Donk, Gun Owners of America, and the Gun Owners’ Foundation. (Donk v. Grisham, 1:23-cv-00772-DHU-LF; see the docket page and the complaint.)

Judge Urias issued his twelve-page order in response to five lawsuits, which he has not yet consolidated, including Randy Donk’s. Contrary to Grisham’s representation that she had “declared an emergency for a temporary amount of time,” the court found she had declared an emergency “of unknown duration.” The separate public health order has a thirty-day term – subject to renewal.

In his order, Judge Urias found a “likelihood of success on the merits.” He specifically cited New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen in his ruling. Specifically he cited the “historical tradition of firearms regulation,” going back to the time the Second Amendment came into force.

In response, Gov. Grisham, according to the Associated Press, made Section 1 of the public health order apply only to parks and playgrounds where children and families might be present.



Hannah Hill, Executive Director of the National Federation for Gun Rights, is not satisfied. (The NFGR is the plaintiff in one of the five lawsuits.) She said the governor was not acting in good faith to comply with the order.

For her part, Grisham made much of the lack of any dispute that “gun violence is a problem.” But that might militate against her position, because Judge Urias took cognizance of the problem but issued his TRO anyway. (He has scheduled a hearing for October 3, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. MDT.)

The Attorney General of Mexico, Raúl Torrez, has refused to defend the State in any federal action challenging the order.

Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence. Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster.

In addition, several members of the Legislature have talked openly of impeachment proceedings. The Gateway Pundit points out that support for Grisham’s position is utterly lacking. Indeed, the Mayor of Albuquerque and the Sheriff and District Attorney of Bernalillo County all have refused to make any arrests or prosecute any cases arising out of this order. The Albuquerque Chief of Police said it was a matter for the State Police to enforce. (But the TRO specifically enjoins the State Police from any such enforcement action.) Tellingly, several gun-rights protesters showed up in Old Town Albuquerque, openly carrying their guns, as if to say, “Arrest us.” No one did.

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are the only two communities that meet the order’s thresholds for applicability.

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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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