On Friday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) issued an emergency order suspending the constitutional right to carry firearms in public throughout Albuquerque and surrounding counties for at least 30 days following an uptick in gun violence.
She previously issued an executive order on Thursday declaring gun violence within the state a public health emergency, granting her the authority to suspend the right. Per AP News, the Democrat governor is expecting legal challenges but feels that she nonetheless needs to put out the order.
“I have to take a tough, direct stand,” Lujan Grisham said, “or basically, I’m ignoring the fact that we lost an 11-year-old,” referring to the recent death of an 11-year-old boy that occurred outside a minor league baseball stadium earlier this week.
The ban attacks open and concealed carry in public places like parks or sidewalks but will not apply to certain places such as private property, gun stores, or shooting ranges. New Mexico citizens aren’t entirely banned from transporting guns within the state but will need to keep the weapon in a trigger lock or other container, or else they will face a fine of up to $5,000.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina already told officers not to focus on the new ban, writing in a message Friday night, “The governor made it clear that state law enforcement, and not APD, will be responsible for enforcement of civil violations of the order. Our officers at APD will continue to focus on the enforcement of criminal laws and arresting the criminals who are driving violent crime in the city,” per Santa Fe New Mexican.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, another place where the order is in effect, stated that he has reservations about enforcing the obviously unconstitutional law.
“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Allen said. “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”
Grisham is facing criticism from numerous conservatives within her state such as State Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca (R), who slammed her for being “soft-on-crime” and pushing “unconstitutional” measures.
“A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do? She throws the mayor of Albuquerque under the bus and then targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order,” the state senator said.
Even understanding that she is punishing legal gun owners, Grisham doesn’t care, believing her self-righteous cause outweighs the constitutional rights guaranteed to New Mexico citizens by the Constitution.
“I realize, it is a pinch, and then some, on responsible gun owners,” the governor said. “It’s a sacrifice that allows everyone else to get their arms around the growing, significant problem.”