District Judge David H. Urias heard arguments from the plaintiffs in the six lawsuits against New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health order banning open and concealed carry in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Gun Owners of America tweeted out:
GOA and @GunFoundation have received a Temporary Restraining Order against New Mexico Governor’s tyrannical firearm carry ban.
This is a win for all gun owners in New Mexico and sends a clear message to all anti-gun states—Shall NOT Be Infringed.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) September 13, 2023
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham faced a backlash against the order from even her allies. The State’s Attorney General refused to defend the order, citing his oath to defend the Constitution. The Albuquerque police and County Sheriff’s Department both declined to enforce the rule because it does not pass Constitutional muster.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the order violated the United States Constitution. The argument cited three cases: Heller, McDonald, and, most importantly, the Bruen decision. The plaintiffs pointed out that Bruen explicitly stated that Americans have the right to carry guns outside the home.
The Judge, who Joe Biden appointed, seemed not to be too friendly towards guns, stating that he applauded the Governor for trying to do something about “gun violence.” The Judge listened to all the arguments and asked questions of the attorneys, including whether the historical analysis in Bruen was enough for the court to lean on. He also asked if the founding era was the ratification date of the Fourteenth Amendment or the ratification date of the Second Amendment. Of course, the plaintiffs argued that the date was the ratification date of the Second Amendment.
After the plaintiffs were done presenting their case, it was the Governor’s counsel’s turn to give her arguments to the District Judge. The Judge warned her that she had an uphill battle tipping his hand as to which way he was likely to rule.
The lawyer’s argument was based on emotion, citing the deaths of children and stating that the order was Constitutional because it is only a “suspension” of a right and not a ban. The lawyer also argued that the Bruen case created more questions than answers.
She also tried to argue that she did not need a historical analog, stating that “everyone beat their wives” in 1791. She then tried to say that the Governor didn’t violate the Constitution because people can still get concealed carry permits. The Judge challenged her about what good is a carry permit if you cannot carry a firearm. She stated you can still carry at a range.
She also tried to argue that good guys with a gun do not walk around with a shirt, stating they are good guys, bad guys don’t wear shirts that say “bad guys,” and that the order was Constitutional. It seems that she was arguing that everyone should be considered guilty until proven innocent. The Judge was not persuaded.
Judge Urias took a ten-minute recess before announcing his ruling. He issued a TRO against the rule until a preliminary injunction could be heard. This ruling is the latest blow against the New Mexico Governor’s push to ban guns.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.