The Bruen decision was pretty good for gun rights, which anyone can plainly see, but it wasn’t perfect. Justice Clarence Thomas did say there were acceptable limits to where people should be able to carry a gun but left those gun-free zones’ definition somewhat vague.
As a result, a lot of places have been trying to push things just as far as they believe they can get away with.
New York is a prime example, with all of Times Square declared a “sensitive location.”
Yet they’re far from the only place. Now, Santa Fe, New Mexico is considering some particularly troubling measures.
The Santa Fe City Council is currently considering a resolution that would make it a fourth degree felony for a person — including a concealed handgun licensee — to carry a firearm for personal protection in, or on, certain city-controlled properties that can be used for school-related or school-sanctioned events. These would include the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and its underground garage (including personal vehicles, presumably), public libraries in the city, any facility — public or private — that students may visit to participate in school activities, and any facility — public or private — where Santa Fe Public School interns could be placed, including City Hall.
According to the resolution’s preamble, anti-gun Mayor Alan Webber and gun control supporters on the Council are relying on an expansive interpretation of the state definition of school premises in New Mexico state law that includes “any…. public buildings or grounds, including playing fields and parking areas that are not public school property, in or on which public school-related and sanctioned activities are being performed.” However, none of the provisions of the proposed Santa Fe resolution clearly limit the firearm prohibition to the time there is an actual school event or school activity occurring. Further, the resolution also grants the city manager complete discretion to designate additional “gun-free zones” all over the city using their expansive definition of school premises to include any place any student might ever go or be present at, for anything related to school — potentially rendering law-abiding New Mexicans defenseless within significant parts of city limits.
Now, the big question is where do I start?
First of all, let’s look at the fact that this is such a broadly defined measure that literally anywhere that school kids might be at an official function could be included. How long before someone argues the local McDonald’s qualifies because kids on a field trip eat there?
What about the private business that invites a local middle school chorus to sing during the Christmas season?
See, just about anywhere could get lumped in and suddenly, there’s nowhere you can lawfully carry a firearm. That’s going to be a huge issue.
Further, if my private property might get declared a gun-free zone without my consent simply because I host school groups, wouldn’t that discourage me from opening that property up for schools?
Picture a banquet hall, for example. They host a lot of banquets, including a Friends of the NRA event and a handful of other pro-gun events throughout the year, but a high school wants to rent it for a sports banquet. Why would the banquet hall even consider such a thing? They’d stand to lose a lot more money than they’d make by taking it on, simply because the pro-gun groups won’t want to use a facility that’s a gun-free zone.
Then there’s the simple fact that none of this is actually going to create any kind of impact on crime. Criminals aren’t dissuaded by gun-free zones. I mean, they’ve had kids bring guns into schools in Santa Fe, for crying out loud, and schools have long been gun-free zones, particularly for students.
So why would they think any other bad actor would suddenly decide to not carry a gun? It’s insane.
Then again, when all you want is to keep law-abiding people disarmed, what do you care?