New Mexico Gov. Announces She's Unilaterally Suspending The Right to Carry Firearms in Public in Albuquerque

Chris Menahan
Sep. 09, 2023

New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham (D) on Friday announced she's unilaterally suspending the Second Amendment right to carry a firearm in public in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County because she feels like gun violence is an "emergency" and her obligation to uphold the Constitution is not "absolute."

Transcript via The Gateway Pundit:
Reporter: All the examples you cited are crimes. Kids shooting at other kids shooting from cars. So what's the value of the civil order? Why not just do better law enforcement?

Grisham: Both, the value of the order is that it gives me three things. One, it says it's a statewide issue, and it's a message to everyone to start leveraging your resources and arresting people. Two, the jurisdictions come at this, including with the DOJ restrictions differently without the leveraging and the additional resources, arresting. And where do they go? We got to make sure that everyone is bumping up their services. It's a message to the Metropolitan Detention Center. It's a message to the HMOs, you better figure out treatment. We have been sort of stalled out. To your point, this order basically says to stop stalling out. And to your point, just arrest everyone. Well, I also have to have the ability I can't arrest everyone. There are literally too many people to arrest.

Reporter: If someone's got a concealed carry permit in Albuquerque walking down a public street, they're not going to get arrested.

Grisham: I can make the point that maybe they should be. And this is the point. I'm willing to do anything and everything within a shred of evidence based effort. Because if you're not horrified that on any street corner in too many cities in New Mexico, there is someone with a gun sticking out of their waist or their belt. And I'll tell you, if you're a young person, you're not allowed to have a handgun.

Reporter: It's a crime already.

Grisham: I got it. But we won't be able to arrest all of them. So imagine just in a perfect world, if this was upheld, it gives all of these police officers the ability to focus on the real criminals.

Reporter: You took an oath to the Constitution. Isn't it unconstitutional to say you cannot exercise your carry license?

Grisham: With one exception, and that is if there's an emergency, and I've declared an emergency for a temporary amount of time, I can invoke additional powers. No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute. There are restrictions on free speech. There are restrictions on my freedoms in this emergency. This eleven year old and all these parents who have lost all these children, they deserve my attention to have the debate about whether or not in an emergency, we can create a safer environment. Because what about their constitutional rights? I took an oath to uphold those, too. And if we ignore this growing problem without being bold, I've said to every other New Mexican, your rights are subrogated to theirs. And they are not in my view.

Reporter: Wait a minute, you're talking about crimes. There are already laws against the crime.

Grisham: But again, if I'm unsafe, who's standing up for that right? If this crime is so out of control, somebody should do something. I'm doing as much as I know to do.

Reporter: Madam Governor, do you really think that criminals are going to hear this message and not carry a gun in Albuquerque on the streets for 30 days?

Grisham: No.
Your rights end where Grisham's feelings begin.

"New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding county for at least 30 days in response to a spate of gun violence," the AP reports. "Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000, gubernatorial spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney said."

From the the AP:
Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said he won't enforce [her emergency order], and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he's uneasy about it because it raises too many questions about constitutional rights.

The firearms suspension, classified as an emergency public health order, applies to open and concealed carry in most public places, from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The restriction is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met by the metropolitan Albuquerque. Police and licensed security guards are exempt from the temporary ban.

Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000, gubernatorial spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney said. Under the order, residents still can transport guns to some private locations, such as a gun range or gun store, provided the firearm has a trigger lock or some other container or mechanism making it impossible to discharge.

[...] John Allen said in a statement late Friday that he has reservations about the order but is ready to cooperate to tackle gun violence.

"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."
"At risk of stating what should be obvious, deliberately violating the Constitution is next-level illegal," Elon Musk commented on X. "How soon can this person be removed from office?"

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