The decision by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to “suspend” gun rights in Albuquerque, NM, has become a hot-button issue across the country.
Lujan Grisham first declared a public health emergency and then used that declaration as a justification for her executive order, which suspends open and concealed carry rights in areas deemed to have high rates of gun violence. The order is set to expire after 30 days, but the governor has indicated she will move to extend it if she deems it necessary.
The entire thing is grossly unconstitutional. A governor does not have the right to void enumerated rights, and that includes gun rights derived from the Second Amendment. That any governor would even want to take that kind of action shows a deep sickness within them. Lujan Grisham appears to be a petty tyrant because she is a petty tyrant.
That wasn’t lost on Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, who did not mince words about the illegal order on Monday.
Here’s the video of the press conference! Wow 😮 pic.twitter.com/NREe71lpWo
— Rep. John Block (@RepBlock) September 11, 2023
SHERIFF: We don’t agree on this at all. This is unconstitutional, and like I said, I uphold my oath seriously. As far as meaning for Albuqurque specifically, I am putting everybody else, including every other politician, and everybody else as a leader to jump on board and work as a team. I said this last week. There was an article, and I wish this man would email me. He says the mayor, the sheriff, the AGs, the chief, they all have their own separate press conferences, I read all these editorials. What are they going to do together?
And that’s why in the press conference when I was with the governor the other day I said “we are all here.” Bernalillo County is a problem. The state of New Mexico has a problem with firearms. What do we do to stop the infiltration that are being used for violence and firearms. What can we do for Albuqurque? Show that there’s a collaborative effort to stop the gun violence. That’s all that we can do. As I said, there’s not a magic wand, there’s not one solution, there’s a myriad of solutions, and I can’t be the only one coming up with that, and that’s why we have to work together as a team.
REPORTER: Sheriff, what do you tell the people who are afraid now that they might not be able to defend themselves having their concealed carry when you guys show up after it’s already happened?
SHERIFF: That’s a quick answer: We aren’t enforcing it.
REPORTER: Sheriff, you mentioned that you’re going to be calling for a special session with the governor, and I understand this news just broke Friday afternoon. It’s Monday morning. Have you heard back from the governor yet (inaudible)…have you conversed with her at all (inaudible)?
SHERIFF: No, I have not. A lot of people have asked me how I feel. Shocked and irritated is all I had for the weekend. I have to turn my irritation and anger into solutions. That’s something that I have to look at very seriously with the oath that I took in January 2023.
The change in the sheriff’s tone is palpable compared to the original statement he put out, in which he didn’t pointedly say no to enforcing Lujan Grisham’s order. If there was any confusion, he cleared that up with his latest comments. He and his deputies will not enforce it, and he believes that the governor’s move is flatly unconstitutional, to the point of causing him anger and irritation.
Constitutionality aside, you can understand why he’d be frustrated. The sheriff and his deputies are on the ground. They are the ones putting their lives on the line. They understand as much as anyone that it’s tragic when children are killed by gun crimes. The governor put forth this order from her ivory tower, knowing it was unconstitutional, and turned the entire search for solutions into a joke.
As Allen says, there is no magic wand. You don’t solve gun crime by taking virtue-signaling, unconstitutional actions to deny law-abiding citizens gun rights. In my opinion, Lujan Grisham did this to boost her profile for a future Senate or presidential run. She has thoroughly disqualified herself, though. I just hope enough Democrats agree because to reward her behavior would be catastrophic.