New Mexico’s Democratic governor banned carrying guns by individuals other than police and licensed security guards Friday, thumbing her nose at the U.S. Constitution’s right to bear arms and Supreme Court rulings.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) characterized her suspension of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment as an “emergency order.”
She claims the ban on guns is temporary and sets a floor of 30 days but no ceiling about when her executive order will be lifted, if ever.
The New Mexico Democrat justified her draconian action as response to recent gun-related incidents in the state’s capitol Albuquerque, according to a report from Fox News.
She linked it to a threshold for violent crime rates met only by the Albuquerque area, the report noted.
“When New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game — when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn — something is very wrong,” Lujan Grisham said.
The order will undoubtedly be challenged in court by Second Amendment advocates.
Violators of the New Mexico Democrat’s order face civil penalties and fines up to $5,000, according to Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney.
State police are charged with enforcing the order but not all law enforcement officials are in agreement, according to the Fox report. Albuquerque’s district attorney, for instance, has expressed reservations.
“I welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer,” the governor said.
Another vocal opponent of the executive order is Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen.
“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Allen stated.
“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.”
The governor’s decision was influenced by shootings in Albuquerque, including the fatal shooting of 11-year-old Froyland Villegas from gunfire aimed at people exiting a baseball game.
A woman in the car with Villegas was critically injured, according to the report.
Other shooting deaths include 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego, shot in her sleep after teenagers fired upon her home, and a 14-year-old boy killed his 13-year-old friend, Amber Archuleta, with his father’s firearm.
State Sen. Greg Baca, a leading Senate Republican, criticized the governor’s decision to suspend firearms.
“A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do?” said Baca. “She … targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order.”
On the other hand, Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, supported the governor’s decision, saying, “If it saves one life, then it’s worth doing.”
Since assuming office in 2019, Lujan Grisham has endorsed several bills aimed at limiting gun access.
Efforts include a 2020 “red flag” law, which permits police to confiscate firearms from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.
She also approved a ban on gun possession by individuals with permanent protective orders due to domestic violence.
In addition to the recent order, the governor has directed state regulators to perform monthly inspections of firearm dealers across the state to ensure adherence to gun laws.