A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order against an executive order by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who suspended the right to carry firearms in public in and around the state’s largest city, Albuquerque.
At least five lawsuits have been filed in federal court after the Democratic governor on Friday issued the order for 30 days due to gun violence. All the plaintiffs argue that the order violated Second Amendment rights.
During a motion hearing Wednesday afternoon in Albuquerque, U.S. District Court Judge David Herrera Urias blocked the order’s implementation pending a final hearing scheduled for Oct. 3.
Urias, appointed by President Joe Biden, agreed that gun violence is a serious issue in Albuquerque and doesn’t blame the governor for her actions “in the face of these terrible deaths.”
However, the judge said he must decide a much more narrow question on the rights under the U.S. Constitution, and it is in the public’s best interest not to suspend civil rights, which includes the right to carry a gun.
“I refuse to be resigned to the status quo,” Lujan Grisham said later on Wednesday. “As governor, I see the pain of families who lost their loved ones to gun violence every single day.”
The governor cited the recent shootings, which killed three children, including an 11-year-old boy who died outside a minor league baseball park last week, in issuing the temporary ban.
However, New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez, a fellow Democrat, has said he will not defend the state in the related lawsuits as he does not believe the order will have any meaningful impact on public safety, ABC News reported.
The governor’s order ignited the anger of many state Republican lawmakers. Two GOP state representatives, John Block and Stefani Lord, are calling for the governor to be impeached over the order.
According to the governor, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children aged one to 19 in New Mexico.