OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:35 PM – Sunday, September 10, 2023
New Mexico’s Democrat governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, came under fire from the National Rifle Association (NRA) for temporarily restricting open and concealed carry across Albuquerque and neighboring Bernalillo County due to an emergency public health order.
“In a shocking move, Governor Lujan Grisham is suspending Second Amendment rights by administrative fiat, ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution,” NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch told the press.
The Democrat governor, according to the NRA head, should eliminate “soft-on-crime policies.” According to police statistics, 76 homicide victims have been reported in Albuquerque so far this year, which is fewer than the 93 victims reported during the same period last year.
“Instead of undermining the fundamental rights of law-abiding New Mexicans, she should address the soft-on-criminal policies which truly endanger its citizens,” Kozuch said.
In an executive order made public on Friday, Lujan Grisham temporarily banned the open and concealed carry regulations in Bernalillo County for at least 30 days. The shootings of a 13-year-old girl in July, a 5-year-old girl in August, and an 11-year-old boy this month served as the impetus for the statement.
“As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed,” the governor said, according to her office’s press release on the order. “And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game – when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn – something is very wrong.”
On Friday, the governor held a press conference where she boldly said that no constitutional right is “absolute.”
“No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute,” Lujan Grisham said after a reporter asked whether it’s “unconstitutional” to force Americans not to exercise their right to bear arms.
“There are restrictions on free speech. There are restrictions on my freedoms. In this emergency, this 11-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?” she said.
The reporter continued by inquiring of the Democrat governor whether she thought that criminal offenders with access to black market weapons would obey her directives on the 30-day suspension.
“Uh, no,” she responded. After that question she reportedly went into a tangent about the importance of reporting crimes to law enforcement.
The National Association for Gun Rights and a local, unnamed resident have already launched a lawsuit against Grisham for “violating their Second Amendment rights.”
“Gov. Luhan Grisham is throwing up a middle finger to the Constitution and the Supreme Court,” Dudley Brown said. Dudley is the president of the National Association for Gun Rights.
The USCCA’s recently established 501(c)(4) group, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association for Saving Lives Action Fund, also denounced the order “in the strongest possible terms.”
“Not only does Governor Grisham lack the constitutional authority to implement such an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment rights of New Mexico citizens, but it strikes at the very heart of what responsible gun owners have been saying for years – criminals do not follow the law, and this order only serves to punish law-abiding gun owners who protect their community,” said Katie Pointer Baney, chairman of the board and executive director of the USCCA-FSL Action Fund.
On X, formerly known as Twitter, the NRA emphasized that the New Mexico Bill of Rights guarantees the right to keep and carry guns for “security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes.”
A statute permitting people to file a $2 million lawsuit if their constitutional rights are infringed was enacted by the governor in 2021.
“Under the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, signed into law by @GovMLG, a person whose rights under the Bill of Rights are violated may sue to recover for damages and obtain injunctive relief. Damages may be awarded up to $2 million per person whose rights were violated,” the NRA said.
“The NRA remains committed to defending the rights of every American and sounding the alarm on such dangerous and unconstitutional proposals that prevent the law-abiding from defending themselves and their families from violent criminals who have overtaken this state under her watch,” Kozuch added.
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