New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency public health order that suspends the open and permitted concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days in the midst of a spate of gun violence.
The Democratic governor said she is expecting legal challenges, but felt compelled to act in response to gun deaths, including the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium this week.
The suspension is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates that only the Albuquerque area currently meets. Police are exempt from the temporary ban on carrying firearms.
Lujan Grisham said the restrictions “are going to pose incredible challenges for me as a governor and as a state.”
“I welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer,” she said at a news conference, flanked by leading law enforcement officials, including the district attorney for the Albuquerque area.
Lujan Grisham referenced several recent shootings in Albuquerque. Among them was a road rage shooting Wednesday outside a minor league baseball stadium that killed 11-year-old Froyland Villegas and critically wounded a woman as their vehicle was peppered with bullets while crowds departed an evening game.
The governor alsocited the August shooting death in Taos County of 13-year-old Amber Archuleta. A 14-year-old boy shot and killed the girl with his father’s gun while they were at his home.
“When New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game –when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn– something is very wrong,” she said in a statement.
Last month, 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was fatally shot while asleep in a motor home. Four teens entered the mobile home community in two stolen vehicles just before 6 a.m. on Aug. 13 and opened fire on the trailer, according to police. The girl was struck in the head and later died at a hospital.