Friday, October 6, 2023

Temporary Restraining Order on New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's Gun Restriction Prolonged

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announces an order restricting people from carrying guns in Bernalillo County for 30 days during a news conference in the Governor’s Office on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 in Santa Fe, N.M. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Three weeks following New Mexico's Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's announcement of a gun restriction in Albuquerque and neighboring regions, cases against this directive have resurfaced before Judge David H. Urias.

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Earlier, Judge Urias had placed a temporary stop on the Governor's directive, preventing its enforcement. While the Governor amended the directive to limit guns in areas frequented by children like parks and playgrounds, she seemed to utilize the "sensitive locations" argument to circumvent judicial scrutiny.

A significant query was whether the modified directive, now restricted to certain areas, still posed legal challenges. Both the National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR) and We the People (WTP) provided additional documentation after the temporary halt, clarifying their positions.

Debate ensued on whether the directive, given its modifications, was still relevant. With Governor Grisham suggesting in media discussions that she might reintroduce the original order, Judge Urias sought clarity on the Governor's intentions. The defense clarified that there's no plan to revert to the initial directive, but concerns about the current restrictions still lingered.

One controversial point was a public shooting range located within a park. According to the directive, such a range should be closed, leading to debates on its practical implications.

Highlighting the vagueness of the directive's "areas where children play," Judge Urias sought clear definitions from the defense. While Ms. Agajanian, the defense attorney, passionately spoke about the gun-related threats in New Mexico and asked the judge to consider the children's safety, the judge felt his hands were tied by legal precedents.

Agajanian emotionally described scenarios where individuals brandish weapons to intimidate the public and critiqued the gun lobby for challenging the Governor's directive. However, the judge remained unconvinced.

Consolidating their efforts, Gun Owners of America, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and WTF have opted to align with the NAGR's case. While each group will present their respective arguments, this unified approach is expected to streamline the process.

While the judge extended the temporary hold on the existing restrictions, a decision on the preliminary injunction on the present directive is anticipated by October 9, with supplemental documents due by the end of the week.

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