BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Former Los Alamos resident Lisa Brenner and a group called the New Mexico Patriot Advocacy Coalition (NMPAC) have filed a lawsuit in the Second Judicial District Court challenging the actions of Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller in restricting firearms at certain city facilities.
NMPAC is a political advocacy group registered in New Mexico that “wishes to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms free from infringement”, the suit states.
The suit, filed by attorney Blair Dunn, alleges that Mayor Keller had his chief administrative officer Sarita Nair take action to restrict and prohibit the bearing of firearms in certain city facilities by enacting Administrative Order 5-19 which “purports to reinterpret state law to define community centers, multigenerational centers and senior centers as ‘school premises’ as a way to regulate the bearing of arms at those facilities by criminalizing the carrying of firearms at these facilities that have not traditionally met the definition of ‘school premises’ (or ‘university premises’) in the statute.” It alleges that Mayor Keller is barred by the New Mexico Constitution from taking this action.
The suit asks that the administrative order be declared unconstitutional and therefore void. It asks for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the administrative order during the pendency of the litigation and a permanent injunction against enforcement of the administrative order.
Dunn said Monday evening that while his clients can understand that Mayor Keller and some City Council members appear to be motivated by a desire to make Albuquerque safer, their policy making efforts are “extremely misguided”.
“Disarming law-abiding citizens in public places does not make them safer in a city plagued by violent crime, it makes them more vulnerable,” Dunn said. “But more importantly, the decision about infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of New Mexico citizens is a decision that elected officials from municipalities in New Mexico are constitutionally prohibited from making.”