Thursday, October 12, 2023

Federal Judge Appointed by Biden Upholds New Mexico's Firearm Restrictions

TFP File Photo. By Katelynn Richardson, DCNF.

On Wednesday, a U.S. District Judge, David Urias, appointed by President Biden, chose not to halt New Mexico's Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's prohibition on firearms in public parks and playgrounds. Earlier, on September 13, Judge Urias had temporarily halted Lujan Grisham’s initial mandate that prohibited firearms throughout Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. However, this led the Governor to revise her directive two days later, focusing solely on certain areas. 

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In his ruling, Urias indicated that the plaintiffs, comprising gun owners and supporting groups, would probably not win their argument based on the Second Amendment. He explained that the U.S. Supreme Court has previously determined parks and playgrounds as “sensitive areas” where firearm restrictions can apply. 

Urias stated, “Playgrounds, often found near educational institutions, rightly fall under the category of 'sensitive places' as outlined in the Bruen ruling."

In response to the judge's decision, Governor Lujan Grisham conveyed her satisfaction, remarking that the directive will ensure that parks and playgrounds in Bernalillo County remain gun-free zones for a limited time. "Children should be able to play and learn without apprehension. It's vital that our community knows we prioritize their well-being," she mentioned in comments to KOAT Action News.

However, the governor's original directive was met with numerous legal challenges and public demonstrations. Even New Mexico's Democratic Attorney General, Raul Torrez, declined to support it, citing concerns over its constitutionality.

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