Attorneys raise questions over constitutionality of Albuquerque's weapons ban in city parks | KOB 4

Attorneys raise questions over constitutionality of Albuquerque's weapons ban in city parks

Grace Reader
Updated: August 16, 2020 10:13 PM
Created: August 16, 2020 10:02 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Black Lives Matter protester who was arrested for carrying a gun on Civic Plaza last month is raising questions about the city’s rule that makes it illegal to carry weapons at city parks.

KOB 4 previously interviewed Grady after the protest where he pointed out that protesters from a previous anti-public health order demonstration were not cited for carrying weapons.


“It poses a larger question, why were two African Americans, expressing our same Second Amendment rights, why were we arrested but that other group were not?” he said.

Grady’s charges were dropped this week. According to his attorney, the city didn’t actually pass an ordinance to make it illegal to carry weapons at city parks. Instead, Grady was cited with carrying a firearm on school grounds, which is a felony.

“I think the city is taking a position that they can apply this law to any public ground, and city property, where a school event may have once taken place or has once taken place, but obviously the district attorney's office and I don't agree,” said Ryan Villa, Grady’s attorney.

According to a court document, the district attorney’s office said “[They have] concerns of the constitutionality and the legal basis for the charge.”

KOB 4 reached out to the district attorney’s office for comment, but didn’t hear back before this story’s deadline.

An attorney for the city of Albuquerque sent KOB 4 the following statement:

"We will continue to courageously enforce, regardless of others' political opinions, the administrative order to ban guns from city areas where kids play to keep families safe."

However Grady’s lawyer said if the city wants to keep guns out of city parks, they need to do it the right way.

“The city certainly has the ability, if it wants, to pass a law. They have to go through its normal process to pass a law. Instead what happened here is the city, I think from the mayor on up, said apply the school grounds law to Civic Plaza. I think that's the part that the district attorney's office and I have problems with the constitutionality,” Villa said.

“They're trying to apply state law in a situation where it just doesn't apply at all,” he added.

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