Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has banned firearms from city parks in the wake of the shooting during the vandalism of a statue earlier this week. You might be scratching your head over that, since the New Mexico state constitution rather specifically forbids cities from regulating firearms.
No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.
Or NM Stat § 30-7-2 (2019) Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon:
A. Unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon consists of carrying a concealed loaded firearm or any other type of deadly weapon anywhere, except in the following cases:
(5) by a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license issued to him by the department of public safety pursuant to the provisions of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act [Chapter 29, Article 19 NMSA 1978].
B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the carrying of any unloaded firearm.
Keller is adopting the St. Louis gun control model, pretending parks are somehow schools (or child care facilities or amusement parks). Whatever designation they need to justify carrying firearms there.
Matt Ross, communications director for Keller’s office, said Friday evening the new order is an extension of efforts the city began last year to prohibit weapons in facilities used for educating young people. “We issued that first administrative order to make it clear that the state law that applies to schools also applies to community centers,” Ross wrote in a text message, referencing a state law that prohibits deadly weapons at facilities used for school-related activities. “This latest administrative instruction makes it clear that law also applies to city parks and recreation centers.”
B. As used in this section, “school premises” means:
(1) the buildings and grounds, including playgrounds, playing fields and parking areas and any school bus of any public elementary, secondary, junior high or high school in or on which school or school-related activities are being operated under the supervision of a local school board; or
(2) any other 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.
A park, off of school premises, is not a school except when an official school-sanctioned event is taking place there. Keller is now violating the state constitution, § 30-7-2, and § 30-7-2.1, and § 30-7-2.4, which also limits the application of “school” to parks. Come to think of it, Keller’s parks redefinition also conflicts with the school designation in § 22-10A-40. That’s impressive work, even for a Democrat.
But let’s say Albuquerque pushes on and somehow designates some sort of “sanctioned school activity” is happening there on a permanent basis, thus pseudo-lawfully making parks into “schools.”
Whoopsie. That would mean Albuquerque will need to license or certify park staff and administrators who work there (and meet the minimum education standards), run everyone through background checks, and provide on-going professional development training.
I really don’t think they thought this through.