The governor anticipates that the order will encounter legal opposition. However, she justifies her decision by citing the necessity to address the recent occurrences of gun-related fatalities. For instance, she mentions the tragic incident involving an 11-year-old boy who was fatally shot outside a minor league baseball stadium earlier this week.
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In a statement, Lujan Grisham expressed concern about the situation in New Mexico where residents are feeling fearful and apprehensive about being in crowded places, sending their children to school, or even leaving a baseball game. The constant threat of violence has created an atmosphere where the basic right to exist is being jeopardized. According to Lujan Grisham, this indicates a significant problem that needs to be addressed.
The suspension of carrying firearms, both openly and concealed, has been designated as an emergency public health order. This order is applicable in a majority of public spaces, with the exception of police officers and licensed security guards. The restriction is based on a specific threshold for violent crime rates, which is currently only met by the Albuquerque area.
According to Caroline Sweeney, the spokeswoman for the governor, individuals who violate the regulations may be subject to civil penalties and a maximum fine of $5,000. The responsibility of enforcing the order has been assigned to the state police, as stated by the governor. However, it is worth noting that not all law enforcement officials, including the district attorney for the Albuquerque area, share the same viewpoint and may not support the order.
During a news conference, Lujan Grisham expressed her openness to engage in a discussion and take action regarding the measures required to enhance the safety of residents in New Mexico.
In a statement released on Friday night, Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen expressed his reservations regarding the order, while also affirming his willingness to collaborate in order to combat gun violence.
Allen expressed his understanding and appreciation for the sense of urgency surrounding the matter at hand. However, he raised concerns about the temporary ban, as it poses a challenge to the fundamental principles upon which our constitution is built. Allen emphasized that he had taken an oath to uphold these principles. The individual expresses caution regarding the placement of their deputies in roles that may result in conflicts related to civil liability. Additionally, they acknowledge the potential dangers associated with restricting law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to self-defense.
The order issued by Lujan Grisham was prompted by a number of recent shootings in Albuquerque. One such incident occurred outside the Albuquerque Isotopes’ field, resulting in the tragic death of 11-year-old Froyland Villegas and leaving a woman in critical condition. During the departure of the game, a vehicle containing the two individuals was subjected to a barrage of bullets.
On August 13th, a tragic incident occurred where a 5-year-old girl named Galilea Samaniego lost her life. The unfortunate event took place while she was peacefully sleeping in her home. The incident unfolded when a group of four teenagers entered a mobile home community using two stolen vehicles. These individuals proceeded to open fire on the residence, resulting in the devastating loss of Galilea’s life. Tragically, the young girl sustained a gunshot wound to her head, resulting in her untimely demise at a medical facility due to the severity of her injuries.
In August, a tragic incident occurred in Taos County where a 14-year-old boy, utilizing his father’s firearm, fatally shot his 13-year-old friend, Amber Archuleta, within the confines of the boy’s residence.
Since 2019, Governor Lujan Grisham has taken measures to limit access to firearms by signing multiple bills into law. One such legislation, enacted in 2020, is the “red flag” law. This law empowers law enforcement officials to approach a court and request the temporary confiscation of firearms from individuals who are deemed to pose a potential threat to themselves or others. In addition to other legislative actions, the governor has recently approved a ban on the possession of firearms for individuals who are subject to permanent protective orders due to domestic violence.
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In addition to other measures, the governor issued an order on Friday that mandates state regulators to carry out monthly inspections of firearms dealers across the entire state. The purpose of these inspections is to verify and ensure that these dealers are adhering to the existing gun laws.
A report on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals will be conducted by the state Department of Health. This report will gather information on various factors such as age, race, gender, and ethnicity of the victims. Additionally, it will also include details about the brand and caliber of the firearm used, along with other general circumstances surrounding the incidents.