U.S. District Judge David Herrera Urias has issued a temporary restraining order against a ban on guns enacted by New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Breitbart reported. Grisham's ban included prohibitions against both open and concealed carry in Albuquerque, even for those licensed to do so.
Grisham's ban began on Sept. 8, 2023, and immediately elicited strong responses from gun rights advocates. Urias, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, granted the restraining order after Gun Owners of America, joined by the New Mexico Shooting Sports Foundation, the Gun Owners Foundation, the National Association for Gun Rights, and others, sued.
The judge's temporary restraining order is in place "until such time as the Court has ruled on the Plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction, following a hearing at which all parties shall have the opportunity to present further argument to this Court." The issue will be further debated in a hearing set for October 3, 2023.
Breitbart senior legal contributor Ken Klukowski pointed out that this move is highly unusual for a judge. "A temporary restraining order is an extremely rare form of injunction, one that is given in constitutional rights cases only for the most egregious forms of government abuses," Klukowski, who is also a constitutional lawyer who specializes in Second Amendment cases, said.
"The fact that a judge appointed by Joe Biden is compelled to admit that this gun grab rises to that level of radical constitutional violation speaks volumes." Indeed, it does.
Grisham unilaterally suspended the Second Amendment in Albuquerque by a public emergency health order, Fox News reported. She used an 11-year-old boy's death at a minor league baseball park as the impetus for this brazen move.
"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," Grisham said in a statement. Knowing this was a controversial move, Grisham said she would "welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer."
It's unclear how prohibiting law-abiding citizens from carrying their firearms in the city will make a difference to criminals, of course. Also, Grisham will have to figure out how to enforce the ban, which comes with a $5,000 penalty for violators, without the help of law enforcement.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen expressed his qualms about doing Grisham's bidding. "While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold," Allen said Friday at a news conference.
"I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense." In a later discussion with the media, Allen more forcefully pledged to flout the ban.
"It’s unconstitutional, so there’s no way we can enforce that order," Allen said in a news conference Monday, according to a later Fox News report. "This ban does nothing to curb gun violence."
"We must always remember not only are we protecting the Second Amendment, but at the same time, we have a lot of violence within our community. Let me be clear: I hold my standards high, and I do not or never will hedge on what is right," Allen added.
The sheriff also claims the governor went ahead with the gun ban knowing he wouldn't be able to help her enforce it. "[Grisham] knew we as law enforcement did not agree with the order, and as a result, this was solely her decision," Allen added.
This is good news for now is that the order has been temporarily suspended. However, the fact that Grisham thought she could get away with this in the first place, particularly using the excuse of public health, is unconscionable.