Four city councilors introduce resolution opposing governor's gun ban

Sep. 18—Three of the Albuquerque City Council's four Republicans, and one Democrat, are sponsoring a resolution that voices their opposition to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's Sept. 7 and 8 orders aimed at reducing gun violence in the city.

Republican Councilors Brook Bassan, Renée Grout, Dan Lewis and Democratic Councilor Louie Sanchez introduced the resolution Monday night.

The resolution states the City of Albuquerque may use any and all legal means, including additional resolutions and ordinances, to block city departments, employees and officers from completing certain parts of their jobs — for example, applying for grants, using public funds, or using city employees or resources — if they "support any present or future infringement on the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms."

According to bill sponsor Brook Bassan, that clause means the city may choose to pass further resolutions or ordinances relating to Second Amendment rights if "further infringement of citizen rights present themselves." The limitations on official powers would only apply if employees contribute to that "infringement." Bassan said the word support doesn't apply to employees' personal beliefs about the governor's orders.

On Sept. 7, Lujan Grisham announced a public health emergency following the shooting death of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas the day before. The next day, she announced a 30-day ban on the concealed and open carry of guns on public property in Bernalillo County.

Almost immediately, the order triggered legal challenges; on Friday, the governor announced she would be loosening the restrictions of the order after a district judge issued a temporary restraining order on parts of the order.

At a Friday press conference, Lujan Grisham announced that only public parks and playgrounds would be subject to the concealed and open carry ban.

The four councilors' resolution declared that the ban "will not only fail to curb 'gun violence' by criminals who already ignore existing laws ... but make it more likely that law-abiding citizens targeted by criminals will be unable to defend themselves."

Unlike a bill, the resolution will not create or change city law. But, it is a policy directive for the city, which can potentially mandate or prevent something from happening. The resolution is expected to be heard at the Oct. 2 City Council meeting.