Is This County Shut Down To Protect The Public Or Punish Them?

Is This County Shut Down To Protect The Public Or Punish Them?

On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace joins me to discuss a troubling development in his community; a continued lockdown of the local economy that Mace believes is motivated far more by politics than public safety.

Over the weekend, we reported on a Cibola County, New Mexico gun store that’s been hit with $60,000 in fines after remaining open during Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s order to for non-essential businesses to close. Papas Pawn and Guns was one of several businesses in Grants, New Mexico to keep their doors open on a limited basis during the shutdown order, and the mayor Grants, Martin “Modey” Hicks, has come under political fire by the governor’s allies for encouraging businesses to re-open before the governor lifted the lockdown.

As for Papas Pawn & Guns, Mace says it never should have shut down to begin with, calling the business an example of “the poor man’s bank” for its pawn services, and noting that the gun store side of the business is essential for local law enforcement as well as the general public.

Last Friday, Grisham revised her orders and allowed gun stores and other businesses deemed non-essential to partially re-open, but her order excluded three counties in the northwestern part of the state; San Juan, McKinley, and Cibola. The governor announced that those three counties would remain on lockdown because of the severity of the outbreaks in the counties. The only thing is that Cibola County hasn’t been hit particularly hard, especially compared to their neighbors.

As of May 4th, there’ve been 3,732 confirmed coronavirus cases and 139 coronavirus deaths in New Mexico, and about half of them have been in McKinley and San Juan counties. McKinley County has 1,144 cases and 21 reported deaths, while San Juan County has 736 cases and 57 deaths. There have been at least six reported outbreaks at long term care facilities in San Juan County, and at least four more outbreaks in care facilities in McKinley County.

Cibola County, on other hand, has just 68 coronavirus cases, 3 reported deaths, and zero outbreaks at care facilities. Why then are residents and businesses in the county still on lockdown?

Sheriff Mace says he believes the governor is trying to make an example of the county for its civil disobedience, which predates the coronavirus pandemic. Mace was one of the early leaders of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in the state, and has refused to enforce the state’s universal background check laws in addition to threatening a lawsuit over the state’s red flag firearms seizure law. On today’s show Mace pointed out that Mayor Hicks has also been an outspoken opponent of Gov. Grisham’s gun control agenda, and the sheriff says he can’t help but wonder if Cibola County would be included with the hard hit counties of McKinley and San Juan if he and others had simply gone along with the governor’s anti-gun agenda.

Make sure you check out the entire interview above, and be sure to subscribe to Townhall Media on YouTube or the Bearing’ Arms Cam & Co podcast on Apple Podcasts so you’ll never miss a show. Stick around after our inteview with Sheriff Mace for more discussion on Justin Trudeau’s sweeping gun ban announced on Friday, as well as an armed citizen who won’t be facing charges after shooting and killing an intruder in his North Carolina home, a high risk sex offender released early because of coronavirus concerns who was arrested less than a week after being let go, and a NYPD officer in the right place at the right time to save a life in a subway station.