New Mexico Democrat: Damn the Court Decisions, Full Speed Ahead on 'Gun-Free Zones'

AP Photo/Andres Leighton

New Mexico Democrats are already showing their contempt for gun owners and the Second Amendment in the 30-day legislative session underway in Santa Fe, but now they’re demonstrating their disdain for the judicial system as well.


Federal judges have already halted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s unilateral attempt to ban concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, and have granted a partial injunction against her revised carry ban in parks and playgrounds in those same locations as well. As of right now, the judiciary has allowed the governor’s edict to be enforced only against lawful concealed carry in playgrounds in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County on the dubious theory that because kids are present at playgrounds they are “sensitive places” where guns can be banned; a decision that completely ignores the desire of parents to protect their kids in a location where police are not routinely present and extra security features like metal detectors are nowhere to be found.

Even though the courts haven’t treated Grisham’s gun ban kindly, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuqueque) wants to enshrine her “gun-free zones” into state law. Ivey-Soto says he’s aware of the judicial decisions that have curtailed most of her carry restrictions. They just don’t matter much to him.

The Albuquerque Democrat said his motivation is the safety of children: “Children should not have to be around guns all the time when they’re trying to play.”

The senator stated current lawsuits are targeting two things: if the Public Health Order was used correctly, and if guns can be generally banned in parks.

News 13 asked if those legal questions could have a bearing on his bill:

“If the judge makes the decision based on the issue of guns in parks generally, then it would affect what we’ve done in trying to pass it as a statute,” Ivey-Soto explained, “To be honest, it does give me a little bit of pause, but at the end of the day, children need to be safe.”


And how are kids going to be safe by labeling parks and playgrounds “gun-free zones” and prohibiting lawful concealed carry holders from carrying within their borders? It’s not like SB 204 places armed security in these locations or provides for any security whatsoever. It simply makes it a fourth-degree felony for anyone, including those with valid carry permits, to bear arms in parks and playgrounds across the state.

Does Ivey-Soto honestly think that violent criminals are going to obey this law when they’re ignoring the prohibitions on armed robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide? The entire reason why a parent would want to have a pistol by her side when she takes her kids to the park is that criminals, by their very nature, don’t obey laws… including bringing guns into “gun-free zones”.

I can’t imagine that Ivey-Soto is stupid enough to believe that his bill is going to prevent any violent criminal from setting foot in a park or playground with a gun. No, his bill is aimed squarely at those lawful gun owners who want to protect their kids from harm; defying the Second Amendment, the New Mexico Constitution, and several judicial opinions just so he can curry favor with an anti-gun governor and her allies in the gun control lobby at the expense of public safety and a basic civil right.


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