US judge blocks order halting right to carry guns in Albuquerque
Washington: A US federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order against an executive order by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who suspended the right to carry firearms in public in and around the state’s largest city, Albuquerque.
At least five lawsuits have been filed in federal court after the Democratic governor on September 8 issued the order for 30 days due to gun violence, reports Xinhua news agency.
All the plaintiffs argue that the order violated Second Amendment rights, which allows people to keep and bear arms without being infringed.
During a motion hearing on Wednesday afternoon in Albuquerque, US District Court Judge David Herrera Urias blocked the order’s implementation pending a final hearing scheduled for October 3.
Urias, appointed by President Joe Biden, agreed that gun violence is a serious issue in Albuquerque and doesn’t blame the governor for her actions “in the face of these terrible deaths”.
However, the judge said he must decide a much more narrow question on the rights under the US Constitution, and it is in the public’s best interest not to suspend civil rights, which includes the right to carry a gun.
“I refuse to be resigned to the status quo,” Lujan Grisham said on late Wednesday.
“As Governor, I see the pain of families who lost their loved ones to gun violence every single day.”
Lujan Grishamcited the recent shootings, which killed three children, including an 11-year-old boy who died outside a minor league baseball park last week, in issuing the temporary ban.
However, New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez, a fellow Democrat, has said he will not defend the state in the related lawsuits as he does not believe the order will have any meaningful impact on public safety, ABC News reported.
The governor’s order ignited the anger of many state Republican lawmakers.
Two Republican state representatives, John Block and Stefani Lord, are calling for the governor to be impeached over the order.
According to the Governor, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children aged one to 19 in New Mexico.