The constitutionality of Albuquerque’s ban on weapons at city parks is being questioned.
Last month a Black Lives Matter protester named Frankie Grady was arrested for carrying a gun on Civic Plaza. According to KOB anti-public health order protesters who gathered at the park previous to the incident were not cited for carrying weapons.
“It poses a larger question,” Grady told reporters. “Why were two African Americans, expressing our same Second Amendment rights, why were we arrested but that other group were not?”
But Grady’s attorney, Ryan Villa, says the city’s ban on weapons at parks ordinance was never actually passed. “I think the city is taking a position that they can apply this law to any public ground, and city property, where a school event may have once taken place or has once taken place, but obviously the District Attorney's Office and I don't agree,” the attorney said.
An attorney for the city of Albuquerque told reporters, “We will continue to courageously enforce, regardless of others' political opinions, the administrative order to ban guns from city areas where kids play to keep families safe.”
Grady’s charges were dropped last week.
Judge Dismisses Restaurant Association Suit
A Bernalillo County district judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the New Mexico Restaurant Association against the state that requested evidence to support discontinuing indoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carlsbad Current Argus reports that Second Judicial District Judge Joshua Allison approved a motion made by the New Mexico Department of Health to dismiss NMRA’s Inspection of Public Records Act request because it was made before the 15-day deadline. Although the agency has yet to produce the documents, the judge decided that a “deemed denial” had not occurred.
Allison said the ruling had nothing to do with the legality or efficacy of the public health orders. “The issue before me as the judge in this court is not whether the public health orders issued by the governor or the Department of Health are or are not constitutional, statutorily permitted, wise or unwise,” he said.
The NMRA is currently involved in another lawsuit against NMDOH to overturn the ban on indoor dining. The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear the case later this month.
WIPP Still Running, Despite COVID Cases
The federal government’s underground nuclear waste repository in Carlsbad, N.M. continues to operate despite a reported increase in COVID-19 cases among workers.
The Associated Press reports that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant saw cases of novel coronavirus more than double among workers last week. The plant has reported at least 14 positive COVID-19 cases among employees and subcontractors.
WIPP is reportedly in the second phase of resuming normal operations after it slowed work at the start of the pandemic.
“The safety of our workforce is our top priority as we continue to closely monitor this pandemic,” said WIPP spokesperson Bobby St. John.