New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has emerged on the short list of potential running mates for Joe Biden, according to CNBC, and now one of the state’s most outspoken sheriffs is speaking out against the idea. Citing her “government experience and her deep background in health and aging,” the network paints a glowing portrait of the governor, including her efforts to impose new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms in the state.
Lujan Grisham has gained a reputation as a dogged fighter for her passion projects — even the politically volatile ones.
She came into the governor’s office after a resounding electoral victory in 2018 — beating Republican Steve Pearce by nearly 15 percentage points. But by mid-2019, her approval rating had fallen after she took progressive stances on gun control and abortion.
On guns, she signed a law expanding background checks for nearly all firearms sales. Politicians in more than two dozen counties out of 33 total pushed back on the law, signing “Second Amendment sanctuary” declarations in protest.
The following year, she signed a red-flag gun bill into law, warning sheriffs that if they don’t intend to enforce it, “they should resign as a law enforcement officer and leader in that community.”
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, one of those sheriffs sits down with me to talk about Grisham’s record, and why he believes it would be a big mistake to put her a heartbeat away from the presidency if Biden wins in November. Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace is a Democrat himself, though a decidedly conservative one, and he’s long objected to Grisham’s gun control agenda as an unconstitutional overreach that does nothing to reduce violent crime while infringing on the rights of state residents. Mace helped lead the push for counties to declare themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries, and he’s one of many sheriffs who vocally opposed the governor’s push for a red flag law as well.
Now Grisham is pushing a police reform bill, and Mace says that during a recent special session of the legislature called by the governor, members of the public were not allowed inside the Capitol to testify or lobby for or against the legislation. The sheriff says, however, that several members of Moms Demand Action were spotted inside the building speaking with lawmakers about the bill. Gun control groups have embraced the idea that “police violence is gun violence” while still pushing for new non-violent felony offenses that would be enforced by armed police officers.
That’s especially true for the red flag law embraced by Grisham, which doesn’t even mention “mental health” and has no room for social services or health professionals to even speak with the subject of a red flag order before a court hearing. The law simply uses the civil court system to declare someone a danger to themselves or others (without the judge ever speaking with the person before passing judgement), and orders police officers to go seize their guns. After that, the supposedly dangerous person is left with their knives, car keys, pills, and everything else they own.
We already have civil commitment laws on the books in every state that allow for truly dangerous people to be involuntarily committed for treatment, but frankly, that’s expensive. Red flag laws are a much cheaper alternative. They don’t require any in-patient treatment or hospitalization, but they still allow politicians to proclaim that they’re doing something to help mentally troubled individuals. It’s not just the Right who should find these red flag laws objectionable, and Grisham’s enthusiastic embrace of the law may cause her some problems from younger voters on the Left who believe that police reform should be one of the biggest priorities for Democrats.
As Mace and I discuss on today’s show, Grisham’s love of red flag laws is just part of a broader problem for gun control supporters: laws without enforcement are meaningless. At a time when de-policing is de rigueur on the Left, gun control advocates will sooner or later have to try explain to their allies why gun licensing and registration laws, red flag laws, gun bans, magazine restrictions, and the like are good ideas when they result in many young black men going to prison for something that isn’t even a crime in most states. Already some “gun violence prevention” advocates are moving away from the traditional calls for more gun laws, and Grisham and Biden’s longtime embrace of gun control measures are going to cause them problems with more members of the American public than they might think.
Be sure to check out the entire interview above, which is highly informative and worth a watch. My thanks to Sheriff Mace for joining me today, and we’ll be back tomorrow with wrap up of the week on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co.