NEW YORK – Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, today applauded a Bernalillo County District Court Judge’s decision dismissing a challenge to Albuquerque’s recent announcement that, pursuant to state law, firearms are prohibited in the City’s Community, Health, and Multigenerational Senior Centers.
In an administrative instruction issued last August the city had notified the public it would strictly enforce state laws that prohibit firearms in places like the centers, where school and university-related activities take place. Dismissing a challenge to the announcement after oral argument today by the city’s counsel at Everytown Law, the court ruled Tuesday the plaintiffs had failed to establish they had standing, or the right to bring the suit.
“The city of Albuquerque is simply doing its job by enforcing state law and protecting its most vulnerable residents,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director of Everytown Law. “As the court recognized, the plaintiffs failed to show the city’s announcement harmed them in a way that would allow this lawsuit to move forward.”
“We took a stand and made something clear: under state law, guns do not belong in Albuquerque’s community centers. More than 200,000 kids a year use educational programs at our community centers, senior centers, multigenerational centers, and health and social service centers,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “These children should never have to worry about someone walking in with a gun. We appreciate Everytown for helping us in this effort to protect kids and families in our city facilities from gun violence and domestic terrorism.”
Everytown Law agreed to represent the city of Albuquerque in partnership with the City Attorney’s Office, led by Esteban Aguilar, soon after the city issued the AI last August. Gun violence has plagued municipal centers across the country, including the killing of 12 people last year at a Virginia Beach municipal center, and a shooting at an Albuquerque Community Center last April. Albuquerque’s Chief Administrative Officer, Sarita Nair, issued the AI informing the public that the state prohibition on firearms on school and university premises applied to the centers due to the ongoing school and university related activities that take place in them, including before and after-school programming, computer classes, transitional services for disabled students, and university-sponsored maternal health clinics.