Governor announces statewide enforcement plan for gun violence, fentanyl reduction – Plan includes 30-day suspension of concealed, open carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Friday 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.
“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 Friday 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.
The public health order also directs:
– The Regulation and Licensing Division to 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, to begin wastewater testing for illegal substances such as fentanyl at schools.
– The Department of Health to 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.
– A prohibition on firearms on state property, including state buildings and schools. This also includes other places of education where children gather, such as parks.
– The State Police to add officers in Albuquerque with funding for overtime provided.
– The Children, Youth and Families Department to immediately suspend the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and evaluate juvenile probation protocols.
The orders signed go into effect immediately.