In a move that has left conservatives outraged and Second Amendment advocates up in arms, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public in Albuquerque and the surrounding county for at least 30 days. This drastic measure is a response to a recent increase in deadly shootings in the area.
New Mexico governor's suspension order of right to carry triggers constitutionality questions https://t.co/XcWFLztCxH
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 10, 2023
Under the order, both open and concealed carry of firearms in most public places, including city sidewalks and urban recreational parks, is now prohibited. However, police and licensed security guards are exempt from the temporary ban. Residents are still allowed to transport their firearms to private sites such as gun ranges or gun stores, as long as the firearm is securely locked and cannot be discharged.
The constitutionality of Governor Grisham’s order has been called into question. Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, took to Twitter to argue that the order violates the U.S. Constitution, stating, “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.” Gun control activist David Hogg echoed this sentiment, adding, “I support gun safety but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”
Despite the controversy, Governor Grisham remains determined to enforce the order, citing recent shootings and the tragic death of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium as reasons for her actions. The governor has stated that state police will be responsible for enforcing the order, with violators facing civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000.
While some gun control advocates are praising Governor Grisham’s initiative, not all law enforcement officials are on board. Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen have both expressed concerns about the constitutionality of the order and have stated that they will not enforce it. Even Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, a fellow Democrat, has distanced himself from the governor’s emergency order, asserting that the Albuquerque Police Department will not be responsible for its enforcement.
New Mexico Republican lawmakers and Second Amendment advocates are calling for Governor Grisham’s removal from office, accusing her of trampling on citizens’ rights. The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association has also made it clear that they will not comply with the suspension order, pointing out that the state’s Bill of Rights guarantees the right to bear arms. They warn that anyone whose rights are violated may sue for damages under the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, which could result in significant monetary awards.
As the debate rages on and legal challenges loom, one thing is certain: Governor Grisham’s order has sparked a fierce battle over the right to bear arms and the extent of government authority in times of crisis. Only time will tell how this contentious issue will be resolved, but one thing is for certain: conservatives and gun rights advocates aren’t backing down without a fight.