(The Center Square) – Gun rights advocates have urged the New Mexico Supreme Court to block gun-control emergency orders enacted by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Her controversial order barred people from carrying guns at public parks and playgrounds in Bernalillo County, including Albuquerque. The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case Monday from gun rights proponents, law enforcement, Republican state legislators, and others.
Lujan Grisham first invoked the orders after an 11-year-old was shot dead outside of a Minor League Baseball ballpark. The plaintiffs allege that Lujan Grisham’s orders violate the Second Amendment and that she lacks the authority to take such actions; they say that’s the job of the state legislature.
Meanwhile, Lujan Grisham argues that gun violence and drug abuse are both public health emergencies that threaten the lives of many of the state’s residents, so her actions are justified.
University of New Mexico Law Professor Josh Kastenberg thinks the challenge could be successful.
“I think the governor’s argument is an uphill climb to succeed before the state Supreme Court,” Kastenburg told KOB.
“The plain language disfavors the governor’s action. Interpretable language could uphold the governor,” he later added.
In recent years, government entities have expanded their definitions of what constitutes a public health emergency, the KOB report noted. It noted that the Centers For Disease Control, for example, now considers both gun violence and sexual assault to fit the bill.
Law enforcement refused to enforce the order enacted by Lujan Grisham before a court temporarily blocked it late last summer.