New Mexico governor bans concealed, open gun carry in Bernalillo County

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Published Sunday, September 10, 2023
by Cole Lauterbach

(The Center Square) - Carrying a loaded firearm in public in New Mexico's most-populous county is now enough for police to issue a fine worth thousands of dollars.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, citing recent shootings, declared a public health emergency centered on gun violence. The executive order signed Friday includes an "action plan" that bans carrying a loaded weapon off of private property in Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque.

The governor's spokeswoman told multiple news outlets that violators of her new order will be subject to a civil fine of $5,000.

"No constitutional right, including my oath in my view, is intended to be absolute," Lujan Grisham said in a news conference Friday evening attended by KOV4.

When asked by a reporter if she thought criminals would adhere to her order to disarm, the governor said, "Uh, no."

Lujan Grisham noted the recent shooting deaths of a 13-year-old girl July 28, a five-year-old girl August 14, and an 11-year-old boy September 6. The county had seen two separate mass shootings earlier this year.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said in a release that he has doubts about the legality of the governor's order and law enforcement's ability to carry it out.

"I have reservations regarding this order," he said in a statement. "While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold. 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." may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

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