Open and concealed carry laws suspended in Albuquerque for 30 days
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she is suspending open and concealed carry laws in Albuquerque and throughout Bernalillo County for the next 30 days, temporarily prohibiting the carrying of guns on public property.
The governor made the announcement during a news conference Friday afternoon.
Gov. Lujan Grisham declared gun violence a public health emergency Thursday, following the murder of an 11-year-old boy on his way home from an Isotopes game Wednesday night. That case, combined with several other violent cases involving children, sparked the decision.
The new public health order is effective Friday, Sept. 8. After 30 days, they will evaluate whether they should renew the order or make adjustments.
The public health order is a statewide mandate, but it only suspends open and concealed carry laws in communities with extremely high violent crime rates and firearm-related emergency room visits. Right now, that only includes the Albuquerque metro.
There are several exceptions. The public health order does not impact private property, licensed firearm dealers, firing ranges, or shooting competitions. However, anyone traveling between those locations must store their guns in a locked container or safety box.
Firearm owners who would like a free trigger lock can call (505) 984-3085 or email email@example.com.
The order does not apply to law enforcement officers or licensed security officers.
The governor said she expects to be challenged on this, but she is prepared for a legal fight.
The public health order also requires monthly inspections of licensed firearm dealers and wastewater testing for certain drugs – like fentanyl – at all public schools.
Here are the key takeaways:
- The Regulation and Licensing Division will conduct monthly inspections of licensed firearm dealers to ensure compliance with all sales and storage laws.
- The Department of Health, along with the Environment Department, will begin wastewater testing for illegal substances such as fentanyl at schools.
- The Department of Health will compile and issue a comprehensive report on gunshot victims presenting at hospitals in New Mexico, which shall include (if available): demographic data of gunshot victims, including age, gender, race, and ethnicity; data on gunshot victim’s healthcare outcomes; the brand and caliber of the firearm used; the general circumstances leading to the injury; the impact of gunshot victims on New Mexico’s healthcare system; and any other pertinent information.
- No firearms are allowed on state property, including state buildings and schools. This also includes other places of education where children gather, such as parks.
- New Mexico State Police will add officers in Albuquerque with funding for overtime provided.
- The Children, Youth and Families Department will immediately suspend the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and evaluate juvenile probation protocols.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina shared the following message with APD officers:
“The governor issued a 30-day state order that limits gun possession in Bernalillo County, including the City of Albuquerque. The governor made it clear that state law enforcement, and not APD, will be responsible for enforcement of civil violations of the order.
Our officers at APD will continue to focus on the enforcement of criminal laws and arresting the criminals who are driving violent crime in the city. We have arrested over 200 murder suspects in the last two years and field officers are making dozens of felony arrests every day. Everyone is stepping up to keep Albuquerque residents safe from the influx of guns and illegal drugs. We know all too well what it means that an 11-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl were tragically killed by indiscriminate gun violence. We share in the pain when our detectives, officers, victim advocates and chaplains respond to these tragedies and hold the hands of family members who are devastated by the loss of precious lives. Nobody feels the pressure more than detectives who are expected to bring justice to those families. Time and time again, they rise to the challenge, and usually because the community stands by APD during these investigations.
I appreciate any support we can get to save lives and end gun violence in Albuquerque. Let’s all work together to keep Albuquerque safe.”
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller shared the following statement:
“We welcome meaningful solutions and additional resources to fight crime in Albuquerque. APD is not responsible for enforcing the governor’s ban, our officers will continue to enforce all criminal laws, combat gun violence, and push for needed justice in our city.”
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen shared the following statement:
“Today, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an emergency order temporarily suspending open and concealed carry laws in Albuquerque and throughout Bernalillo County for the next 30 days. This move has been positioned as a response to the alarming and tragic rise in gun violence, particularly the heart-wrenching death of an 11-year-old boy this past week.
First and foremost, every lost life is a tragedy, and the well-being of our community is of paramount concern to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. We share in the collective grief and urgency to address this issue.
However, as the elected Sheriff, I have reservations regarding this order. While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold. I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.
I was elected to represent and safeguard all constituents and to ensure the balance between our rights and public safety is maintained. That means we must critically evaluate any proposed solution to the deeply rooted issue of gun violence, ensuring we both protect our community and uphold the values that define us as a nation.
To proactively address gun violence, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has implemented and is currently executing several initiatives:
- ERPO (Extreme Risk Protection Orders) – Identifying and addressing threats before they escalate.
- Behavioral Health Unit – Addressing underlying mental health issues that often intersect with violent incidents.
- Youth and Gun Violence Initiative – Focused programs to curb youth involvement in gun-related crimes.
- Felon Firearm Possession Intervention – Targeting felons illegally in possession of firearms.
- Crime Commission Initiative – Zeroing in on cases where firearms are used in the commission of crimes.
- Interagency Collaboration – Partnering with State, Local, and Federal entities to create a unified front against gun violence.
- Creation of a Violence Intervention Program – Intervening in gun violence before crimes happen through intel and inter-agency collaboration.
In conclusion, while we might not be in complete alignment with the Governor’s recent order, we remain steadfast in our commitment to work collaboratively, both with her office and with the community, to find sustainable solutions to the gun violence epidemic plaguing our county. It is through robust dialogues, open-mindedness, and the shared goal of a safer Bernalillo County that we will find our way forward.”
New Mexico Senate Republican Leader Greg Baca issued the following statement:
“A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do? She throws the mayor of Albuquerque under the bus and then targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order. Tragically, this is what we have come to expect from an administration that refuses to take responsibility for the crime epidemic gripping our state. It is time for the governor to stop pointing fingers and admit that her soft-on-crime approach has failed and put the safety of all New Mexicans in great jeopardy.”
The public health order is available below.