New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s gun ban, which went into effect on Sept. 8, has been met with severe backlash — from Republicans and Democrats.
RTM previously reported that Lujan Grisham suspended open and concealed carry permits in Albuquerque and surrounding regions for a minimum of 30 days.
The ban reportedly is in response to a spike in gun-related incidents in Albuquerque and surrounding cities — some involving youth.
Lujan Grisham claimed she had the authority to impose the ban under an “emergency health order.”
Attempting to defend her decision during an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, Lujan Grisham said: “I’m focused on everyone’s constitutional rights, not just those the NRA says I should be focused on.”
Harlow rightly pointed out to Lujan Grisham that it is not just the NRA that is concerned about her gun ban.
Doubling down and further angering Second Amendment advocates, Lujan Grisham then threatened to impose civil penalties ($5,000 fines) if local authorities did not impose her ban.
Local sheriffs and law enforcement agencies have noted they will not enforce the ban — citing questions about the constitutionality of the order.
The Daily Caller profiled the exchange:
A defiant Lujan Grisham responded: “It’s not for the police to tell me what’s constitutional or not. These are NRA talking points about their rights and not about anybody else’s. And it’s not a ban, it’s a temporary pause.”
Harlow pushed back, saying, “But we also have, Governor, the Constitution of New Mexico and the Constitution of the United States. Do you think you’re on solid constitutional ground here?”
Lujan Grisham, who previously acknowledged her gun ban would likely be challenged in court, said, “Well we’re gonna see. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I had the right, I have the right—”
Pressing for clarification, Harlow asked, “But where is the right?”
In what many view as a weak argument, Lujan Grisham replied, “In the state of New Mexico, public health — it’s a suspension, it’s not a ban.”
In dramatic fashion, Harlow produced a copy of the New Mexico State Constitution and read: “The New Mexico Constitution, Article II Section VI says ‘no law shall abridge the right of citizens to keep and bear arms for security and defense. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.’ Are you not in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and your state’s constitution?”
The governor replied: “I don’t believe that we are. And if that narrow reading of the Constitution, which has been tested in the state, we wouldn’t have universal background checks.”
The governor added that New Mexico has red flag laws and other gun control measures in place, but Harlow reminded the governor that since New Mexico’s gun laws were enacted, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a “groundbreaking decision in the New York State gun case,” which override state laws.
Further embarrassing to the governor, Harlow played a video from last week which showed Lujan Grisham speaking to a reporter. When Lujan Grisham was asked if she believed criminals would abide by the gun ban, she said, “No.”
Grisham responded by saying her position on gun violence is not new and that “gun violence is unacceptable.”
Harlow continued to press: “Are you overreaching?”
The backlash from notable Democrats includes Rep. Ted Lieu, who noted, “No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”
Local news station KRQE reported that Republican state Reps. Stefani Lord and John Block are calling for Lujan Grisham’s impeachment, claiming her gun ban order is an infringement on New Mexicans’ Second Amendment right.