Couple speaks out against order banning guns in public

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Some of the backlash to the 30-day gun ban is coming from people who say folks will be in danger without their guns in Albuquerque.

One couple says their story from a few years ago is a perfect example.

“I want the people that I love there, my friends, my family, the people of Albuquerque, to feel safe,” said Lynne Russell.

Russell is a former CNN anchor who went to Manzano High School. She and her husband – Chuck de Caro, a former CNN special assignment correspondent and ex-military member – have a message for the governor.

“We’re taking part in this because we think that this is an act of lunacy beyond belief,” said Chuck. 

It reminds them of an incident eight years ago when they stopped in Albuquerque on a road trip and were spending the night at a motel near Coors and Iliff.

Police say a man with a gun barged into their room looking to rob them. They felt like they had to defend themselves, and Chuck ended up shooting and killing the robber in a shootout.

Chuck was shot three times in the process.

“If the governor’s order had been in effect that day, Lynne and I would be just dead,” said Chuck. 

They say had there been a gun ban they would have followed the rules and not brought their guns into the motel room.

“Why would you place citizens in a situation like that in which they can’t defend themselves?” said Russell.

The governor says she expected groups to challenge this order in court, and a local legal expert says it will have an uphill battle.

UNM Law Professor Joshua Kastenberg says the governor does have the power to declare emergencies like this, but this is a gray area because of the gun rights in the U.S. Constitution.

“Their argument will be ‘I have a Second Amendment right to possess these, I have a Second Amendment right to carry them from point A to point B, and I have a Second Amendment right to protect myself, and I don’t have a criminal record, so this is an unconstitutional infringement on my rights,'” said Kastenberg. 

Kastenberg says a lawsuit could lead to an emergency stay as early as Monday. That would mean it would not be in effect while the challenge goes through the courts.

He added that these legal challenges could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.