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Constitution Under Construction?

New Mexico Governor Suspends Second Amendment


Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash


The past week in New Mexico has been manic. On Sept. 8, 2023, the New Mexico governor Michelle Grisham suspended the rights to bear arms in New Mexico. This public health emergency has gotten major pushback from gun rights groups, law enforcement leaders and government officials.


On Sept. 6 2023, three children lost their lives from shooting outside a minor league baseball park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After this shooting, Grisham issued a gun ban for 30 days (about four and a half weeks). This ban included concealed and open carrying of firearms in the state's largest city and surrounding areas in Bernalillo County. The decree came a day after Grisham stated that gun violence is a statewide public health emergency due to the rate of gun deaths in New Mexico increasing by 43% from 2009 to 2018.


"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,” Grisham said.


Grisham has gotten major backlash for this 30 day ban. It is argued that eliminating the second amendment is unconstitutional and that people's rights are being taken away.


“Some people are very strict constitutionalists with their interpretation and others feel that there is room for different types of interpretation,” Upper School  history teacher Stephine Amion said. “It will be interesting to see how it goes. I think this is one of those things where citizens of all ages, no matter what state they are in, either need to understand the importance of their freedoms of assembly and their gun choices.”


The ban did not hold ground for long. On Sept. 13, just five days after the ban went into effect, U.S. District Judge David Urias blocked the ban. This paused the gun ban until a preliminary injunction hearing that is in roughly two weeks. This happened a few days after multiple gun rights groups sued Grisham, arguing the ban lacks historical precedence.


“There is no exception to the Second Amendment. As a result of today’s temporary restraining order, the law-abiding gun owners of Albuquerque are able once again to exercise their right to bear arms,” executive director of the association’s legal branch Hannah Hill said.


With events like this occurring in the political world, teachers may have to put some thought into how they would work these circumstances into their courses.


“I would present the case [to a class] from both perspectives,” Amidon said. “I understand the governor's thoughts and responsibilities in trying to provide a safe environment for the citizens in her state. I think everybody agrees that the shootings are sad and there has to be a solution to those, but banning someone's constitutional right might not be the best way to go about it.”

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