If it seems to you that anti-gun politicians spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to skirt the constitution and the rule of law to ban firearms for their constituents they’re supposed to be serving, you’d be right.
The latest in a long line of city “leaders” to do just that is Mayor Tim Keller of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Following an incident last week in which a man was shot in the midst of a crowd vandalizing a statue in the city, Keller found a sneaky way to skirt New Mexico’s firearms preemption law—he declared all parks to now be “education facilities.”
Ironically, like many states, New Mexico as a preemption law that specifically prohibits municipalities from implementing more restrictive gun-control laws than those set by the state. New Mexico’s statute states, in part: “No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.”
That sounds pretty straightforward. Consequently, Keller is already running into pushback and might find himself in legal trouble over the gun-ban maneuver. The state law that forbids carrying guns on school premises specifically defines “school premises” to include “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.”
Since city parks currently aren’t being used for public school-related and sanctioned activities, it’s likely that Keller’s order is in violation of current state law. As with most gun-haters, though, it’ll likely take a court decision to get him to back down from his latest scheme to trample the right to keep and bear arms.
Keller, by the way, is no newcomer to anti-gun politics. In March, he sought an ordinance that would expand his ability to cite “Emergency Powers” as an excuse to undermine the right of city residents to keep and bear arms.
He’s also a member of Michael Bloomberg’s so-called Mayors Against Illegal Guns group and the national gun-control group misleadingly known as Americans for Responsible Solutions. In fact, Keller’s actions over the past few years have earned him a solid “F” rating from the NRA’s Political Victory Fund.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.