New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced a new public health order that outlines immediate actions aimed at quickly reducing gun violence and illegal drug use in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
The recent shooting deaths of a thirteen-year-old girl on July 28, a five-year-old girl on August 14, and an eleven-year-old boy on September 6, as well as two mass shootings this year spurred the governor to declare gun violence a public health emergency on Thursday.
"Today’s public health order includes directives to curb the gun violence and drug abuse that the Governor has declared to be public health emergencies," read a statement issued by the Governor's office.
“As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “And 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.”
During a substantive and earnest conversation on Friday with public safety officials, including District Attorney Sam Bregman, Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, former State Police Chief Pete Kassetas, and state law enforcement leadership, the Governor expanded on her plans to drastically reduce the number of violent incidents and fentanyl-related deaths in New Mexico.
The governor also on September 8 signed an executive order declaring illegal drugs a public health emergency.
The action plan includes a suspension of open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County, temporarily prohibiting the carrying of guns on public property with certain exceptions.
Exceptions include for licensed security guards and law enforcement officers. Citizens with permits to carry firearms are free to possess their weapons on private property (such as at a gun range or gun store), provided they transport the firearm in a locked box, use a trigger lock, or some other mechanism that renders the gun incapable of being fired.