The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is considered an inherent and indivisible privilege. The framers of the Constitution explicitly articulated that it is a privilege that must not be violated. However, the governor of New Mexico has opted to disregard the Constitution and prohibit firearms.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a member of the Democratic party, made an announcement on September 8th. She revealed that she had issued an executive order designating gun violence as a matter of public health urgency.
She cited the tragic loss of two young lives, a 13-year-old girl in July and a five-year-old girl in August, as well as two instances of mass shootings as the motivating factors behind this decision. The governor’s focus was particularly on Bernalillo County and Albuquerque, identifying them as the epicenters of the issue.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen says he will *not* enforce Gov. Lujan Grisham’s (D) 30-day ban on carrying guns in public spaces:— The Recount (@therecount) September 11, 2023
“This order will not do anything to curb gun violence other than punish law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self defense.” pic.twitter.com/J6pazim4JU
Due to the surge in violent incidents, Governor Grisham declared her decision to prohibit the carrying of concealed and openly displayed firearms within those specified locations. The governor stated that she had determined that conventional measures were no longer adequate. She pointed out that residents of New Mexico had expressed concerns about attending public gatherings, taking their children to school, or even leaving a baseball game due to their apprehensions. She emphasized her belief that there is a serious issue at hand.
The executive directive encompasses several actions, which involve:
- Banning guns on state property and parks.
- Suspending concealed and open carry laws in Bernalillo County.
- Temporarily prohibiting weapons on public property unless the person is a cop or security guard.
The prohibition is anticipated to remain in effect for a duration of 30 days, with the governor retaining the possibility to prolong it. There was an immediate and cross-party backlash in response to this decision.
I support gun safety laws. However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. 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. https://t.co/kOhLMtaOl2— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 9, 2023
On the day following the governor’s issuance of the directive, the National Association for Gun Rights and a resident of Albuquerque initiated a legal action against Governor Grisham. The organization contended that the order infringed upon the Second Amendment. They referenced the Supreme Court’s broadening of firearm rights in their 2022 ruling, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, as a basis for their argument.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, a member of the Democratic party, declared his intent to abstain from enforcing the interim prohibition. During a press briefing on September 11, he expressed his belief that the directive would not effectively reduce gun-related incidents.
Instead, he argued that it would penalize law-abiding individuals by depriving them of their constitutional entitlement to self-defense. Sheriff Allen also conveyed his frustration with the ban diverting attention from discussions regarding the measures the governor and law enforcement were planning to implement to address gun violence.
The sheriff additionally expressed his concern about the potential for political violence directed towards his officers as a consequence of the ban, stating, “I have enough violence here.” He asserted that the order was in violation of the Constitution.
Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, released a statement on a specified date, in which he voiced his support for gun control. However, he also maintained that the governor’s directive constituted a breach of the Constitution.
State Senator Joe Cervantes, who belongs to the Democratic party, urged the governor to revoke her executive order, deeming it an unconstitutional method for addressing the issue.