On Sept. 8, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a highly unusual executive order, NPR reports "We are suspending open and concealed carry," she said. "The purpose is to try to create a cooling-off period while we figure out how we can better address public safety and gun violence." The temporary order, a response to a rash of shootings in Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County, set off a political firestorm. Lawsuits were filed, police called it unenforceable, other Democrats distanced themselves and at least one Republican legislator called for the governor's impeachment. At the city-run gun range outside of Albuquerque, there's little support for the ban.
"I don't believe I should follow a law that would put me in danger," says lifelong Albuquerque resident Johnny Atencio. "Because criminals out in the streets have guns — why shouldn't I?" Lujan Grisham soon narrowed the ban to apply only to parks and playgrounds, and a federal court has allowed that to stand while legal challenges move forward. But the political damage is done, says Zac Fort of the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association. "Just how far she tried to go with an executive order and you saw so many people come out against it," Fort says. "It going to be like, 'Well, we have zero trust.' "