New Mexico sheriff REFUSES to enforce gun ban as outrage over governor’s decision to suspend right to carry firearms for 30 days grows
- A New Mexico sheriff is refusing to enforce the governor’s gun ban
- Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen says Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan’s firearm suspension order ‘unconstitutional’
- She issued the executive order on Friday which applies to all citizens of Albuquerque
- It comes in response to recent spate of child-involved shootings in the the state’s most populous locale, which recently has become even more prominent
The sheriff in New Mexico’s largest metro area has vowed not to enforce an emergency order by the governor to temporarily suspend the right to carry firearms in public in and around the city of Albuquerque.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen has slammed New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s move to suspend the carrying of firearms in the state’s most populous metropolitan.
‘It’s unconstitutional, so there’s no way we can enforce that order,’ he said. ‘This ban does nothing to curb gun violence.’
Since Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the 30-day public health order on Friday, a furor has rained down from gun owners, state Republican lawmakers and civil rights advocates. Even some in her own party questioned the move.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen (pictured) says New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s firearm suspension order is ‘unconstitutional’
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an emergency public health order that suspends the open and permitted concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days in the midst of a spate of gun violence
The statement was issued in response to a series gun-violence cases that most recently left 11-year old Froylan Villegas dead
While she said she would welcome a fight after announcing an emergency order to suspend the right to carry firearms in most public places around Albuquerque, with federal lawsuits, cries for impeachment and outside protests, that’s exactly what she’s getting.
A gun rights group filed a federal lawsuit within 24 hours asking a court to block the order from taking effect, and other federal lawsuits followed. Critics denounced the order as an infringement on the gun rights of law-abiding citizens.
GOP state lawmakers also proposed initiating impeachment proceedings against the governor, a move that would require buy-in from the Democrats who control the Legislature.
‘My constituents have reached out to me in droves, emailing and texting me that this is insane, this is horrifying, this is unconstitutional,’ said Republican state Rep. John Block of Alamogordo, representing a conservative stronghold in southern New Mexico.
Lujan Grisham, a former congresswoman, began a second term in January and can´t run again immediately for another term.
Allen is among the other municipal law enforcement officials who have said they will not enforce the Democratic governor’s order
Lujan Grisham announces an executive order aimed at ensuring safe harbor to people seeking abortions in Santa Fe, N.M
Mark Abramson, owner of Los Ranchos Gun Shop, on the edge of Albuquerque, N.M., city limits, talks to a customer about the crime problem in Bernalillo County
The emergency order came after the tragic shooting death of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium (pictured) near Albuquerque
A key legislative ally of the governor on gun control initiatives urged her to rescind the public health order.
‘An unconstitutional approach undermines the important collaboration gun issues deserve, and the important role of a Governor to lead genuine reforms,’ Democratic state Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Cervantes had successfully sponsored a 2020 red flag law making it easier for authorities to take weapons from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
The head of the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, Randy Kozuch, issued a statement Sunday calling the order a ‘shocking’ act of ‘administrative fiat’. The ACLU voiced objections that the governor’s actions could lead to overzealous policing and infringe on privacy.
‘This kind of approach leads to the over-policing of our communities, racial profiling, and increased misery in the lives of already marginalized people,’ said Lalita Moskowitz, litigation manager for the ACLU of New Mexico. ‘The governor should be following evidence-based solutions such as meaningful diversion and violence intervention programs and addressing the root causes of violence.’
Elon Musk criticized her announcement, taking to X, formerly twitter, writing: ‘At the risk of stating what should be obvious, deliberately violating the Constitution is next-level illegal. How soon can this person be removed from office?.’
The order applies to open and concealed carry in most public places and is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met in metropolitan Albuquerque. Police and licensed security guards are exempt.
Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000, gubernatorial spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney said.
Lujan Grisham said she expects legal challenges but was compelled to act because of recent shootings
She issued the executive order on Friday which applies to all citizens of Albuquerque
Residents still could transport guns to some private locations such as a gun range or gun store, but only with a trigger lock – a container or mechanism making it impossible to discharge.
Lujan Grisham said she was driven by a number of recent child shooting deaths. ‘It is time to declare an end to this kind of violence. It is in fact an epidemic,’ she said last week, while acknowledging criminals surely would ignore her order.
It comes in response to a recent spate of child-involved shootings in the the state’s most populous locale, which in recent years has become even more notorious for its gun violence.
Among the killings, she pointed to the August shooting death in northern New Mexico’s Taos County of 13-year-old Amber Archuleta.
The girl’s father applauded the action, saying his family was destroyed. ‘We are looking for answers and solutions to this issue,’ Joshua Archuleta said in a statement released by his attorney.
Gun safety organizations also voiced support.
Saira Rao, co-founder of Here4TheKids, a group advocating for banning guns and fossil fuels outright, praised Lujan Grisham´s actions – and wished it should be made permanent.
‘It’s inhumane that we haven´t eliminated the number one killer of children and teens in this country,’ she said. ‘So I salute the governor for making that first brave step for saving our children.’
The Catholic Church also weighed in. Lujan Grisham ‘has been consistent in addressing gun safety through legislation and is not now attacking the Second Amendment. She knows the law,’ Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester said in a statement.
New Mexico was among five states with the highest rates of gun killings in 2021, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center based on death-certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found 11.7 killings per 100,000 people in New Mexico, just below Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and the District of Columbia.
The marquee at a gun shop in Los Ranchos, N.M, flashes ‘MLG free zone’ in protest of her order
The suspension applies to open and concealed carry from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. Violators could face a fine up to $5,000 and civil penalties
Violent crime has become especially pronounced in metro Albuquerque, where homicides have been on a record-setting pace in recent years. In 2022, a new record was set with 120 people killed, according to police data. This year, there have been 76 victims as of Sept. 8.
Gun-toting protesters held a peaceful rally in Albuquerque´s Old Town area with another scheduled Tuesday in the heart of Albuquerque.
Sheriff Allen claims the governor sprung her plans on officials just moments before her news conference, leaving him shocked and irritated. He plans to push lawmakers to call a special session to address violence in Albuquerque.
‘I have to turn my irritation and anger into solutions,’ Allen said.
A clip of the George Soros-backed governor insisting to a reporter that her temporary ban was, in fact, constitutional has been viewed more than 11million times.
‘You took an oath to the Constitution,’ the reporter is heard asking. ‘Isn’t it unconstitutional to say you cannot exercise your carry license?’
At this point, Grisham – a former lawyer who gained her gubernatorial seat in 2019 – seems to concede that under normal circumstances, the member of the press would usually be right, but quickly parlays: ‘With one exception.’
‘And that is,’ she goes on to elaborate, ‘if there’s an emergency and I’ve declared an emergency for a temporary amount of time, I can invoke additional powers.
‘No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute. There are restrictions on free speech. There are restrictions on my freedoms.’
The statement was issued in response to a series gun-violence cases that most recently left 11-year old Froylan Villegas dead and his aunt critically injured Wednesday as they drove home from a minor baseball game.
Someone in a black SUV fired 17 shots at the family’s truck parking outside a minor league baseball stadium, Isotopes Park.
‘He was very outspoken, very mature for his age,’ said Angelica Amaro, a close friend of the Villegas family. ‘But his one thing was he was going to be the best horse trainer that he could be.’
Villegas’ mother and infant brother were in the backseat and were not struck by gunfire.
Grisham said of the incident, which happened just outside of notoriously violent city Albuquerque: ‘In this emergency, this eleven-year-old and all these parents who have lost all these children, they deserve my attention to have the debate about whether or not, in an emergency, we can create a safer environment.
‘Because what about their constitutional rights? I took an oath to uphold those too.
‘And if we ignore this growing problem without being bold, I’ve said to every other New Mexican, your rights are subrogated to theirs. And they are not, in my view.’