Attorney Cameron Atkinson, Bernalillo County resident Dennis Smith and attorney Jeremy Gay have won their first victory in their case against New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Credit : AP
A federal judge has temporarily blocked the New Mexico governor's controversial decision to suspend gun rights after several groups challenged the order in court.
District Court Judge David Urias declared Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's emergency order. Banning members of the public from carrying firearms in Albuquerque and surrounding counties was inconsistent with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that people have the right to carry guns outside the home for self-defense.
The Democratic governor on Friday announced a suspension of gun laws to allow a “cooling-off period” to address the state's high rate of gun crime after several children, including a 5-year-old girl, were fatally shot.
While gun control campaigners called the move “bold” and necessary after an 11-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run crash last week, it drew a sharp backlash from Republicans and some Democrats who said it was unconstitutional. .
Gun owners have since held several rallies in Albuquerque to protest what they say are violations of their rights.
Protesters at a rally after the suspension of the use of weapons. Photo: AP
Meanwhile, several Republican lawmakers said they plan to designate Ms. Lujan Grisham to be impeached.
Republican Rep. John Block, who is working to impeach Ms. Lujan Grisham, told The Telegraph: “Right now, our governor is a domestic enemy, contrary to our Constitution and our rights. Therefore, it is my duty to bring forward articles of impeachment and hold her accountable.
“If I had not done this. I will violate my duty, which I swore on the Bible to observe.”
Gun bans in US states
The response also came from local law enforcement officials who said they would not enforce the order or state requirements. Democratic Attorney General Raul Torres, who told Ms. Lujan Grisham he could not legally defend him because he “does not believe he passes constitutional muster.”
During a hearing Wednesday at the federal courthouse In Albuquerque, Mr. Urias said, “They just want the right to bear arms.”
“Frankly, I think you have a pretty tough road ahead of you here,” he told Holly Aghajanian, an attorney in the governor's office.
Several rallies against the ban took place in Albuquerque. Photo: AP
Ms. Aghajanian urged the judge to keep the order in place for 30 days, saying the governor “rejects the idea that she can't even try to keep the streets safe.”
Plaintiffs' lawyers applied intense pressure, citing the precedent set by the 2022 Supreme Court case – New York State Rifle & The case of the Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen – this effectively upheld open carry laws.
The temporary restraining order will remain in effect until the order's next hearing on October 3.
But on Wednesday morning, Ms. Lujan Grisham showed sass. Speaking on Good Morning America, she said: “I will continue to do whatever is based on science, facts and public safety efforts to clean up our cities and make this the safest state in America. I won't stop until this is done.”
Gun violence kills about 500 people in New Mexico each year, according to gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety. which ranks sixth among US states in terms of gun deaths per capita. .
Albuquerque is one of the ten most dangerous cities in the United States according to the FBI for violent crime. The Telegraph has approached Ms Lujan Grisham for comment.