New Mexico governor stumps for gun control in campaign push with Giffords

New Mexico governor stumps for gun control in campaign push with Giffords
(AP Photo/Juan Antonio Labreche)

Since New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took office, the state has adopted several gun control measures including universal background checks and the establishment of a “red flag” firearm seizure law. The governor even tried to keep gun stores closed during the pandemic by not including them in her list of “essential businesses”. Her gun control efforts haven’t reduced violent crime in the state, however. In fact, according to one media report in the state New Mexico had the second-highest rate of violent crime in the country last year, with Albuquerque setting a new record for homicides with 110.

Despite the failures of her gun control laws, Lujan Grisham is doubling down on her anti-2A approach to public safety in her re-election bid. In fact, this past weekend she was campaigning with former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; vowing that if she’s re-elected the state will see other big changes to its gun laws.

“We just never move the needle,” Lujan Grisham said. “There is a grip on this country by the NRA; their candidates refuse to uphold this constitution. You and I … have a constitutional right to be safe in our home and our schools and our community.

“Until that is obtained by every single gun-safety effort, we are going to keep fighting,” she added.

Never move the needle? I thought Congress just passed the “first major gun legislation in decades” back in July, and Lujan Grisham herself has signed multiple gun control bills into law. Democrats are in complete control of state government in New Mexico, not the NRA, but the New Mexico governor is stuck on stale talking points because she can’t possibly admit that her administration and her Democratic allies in the state legislature are only making things worse by cracking down on legal gun owners trying to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms instead of putting the screws to violent criminals in the Land of Enchantment.

Locked in what could be a close race with Republican Mark Ronchetti, Lujan Grisham has been on a four-day campaign sprint with Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, including stops in Las Cruces, the South Valley, Albuquerque, Gallup and Farmington.

“I am right in there with people who care about choice,” Lujan Grisham said, “who care about gun violence and who care about infrastructure and who want to know they have a governor who can manage in an emergency.”

… Ronchetti has criticized Lujan Grisham’s record on guns and has come out against further gun control laws. On his website, he pledges to oppose “efforts by liberal gun-grabbers who seek to criminalize law-abiding gun owners rather than focus on prosecuting criminals.

“From supporting efforts to outlaw certain firearms and magazines to even banning gun shows at Expo, the current governor has made her opposition to gun rights disturbingly clear,” Ronchetti said.

Lujan Grisham took a moment Sunday to take a jab at Ronchetti’s stance on firearms.

“You have someone who has no interest in upholding your, mine, constitutional rights to be safe in our own homes,” Lujan Grisham said.

Bernadette Vadurro, chairwoman of the Santa Fe County Democratic Party, accused right-wing media of trying to scare people by saying Lujan Grisham will take people’s guns away.

“She’s not going to take people’s guns away,” Vadurro said. “What she is going to do is make sure that guns are in responsible people’s hands. If you need a license to drive a car, in my opinion, you should have a license on how to use a gun.”

The government has no duty or responsibility for your individual safety, even if someone breaks into your home. Your safety is your reponsibility, and Lujan Grisham has worked to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to access their constitutionally-protected right to armed self-defense. While the governor brags about managing “in an emergency”, she tried to make it virtually impossible for anyone to lawfully acquire a firearm back in 2020 when she refused to let gun stores and ranges open during the early days of the COVID pandemic. And because New Mexico has “universal background checks,” private sales were out as well because there were no gun stores open to conduct the required background check on private transfers.
Lujan Grisham has not only called for a ban on so-called assault weapons, she actively impeded the Second Amendment rights of New Mexico residents with her gun store closures… and to what end? Violent crime has skyrocketed in the state over the past two years, while law-abiding citizens have faced greater hurdles (and at times insurmountable obstacles) before they can legally buy or carry a firearm in self-defense. New Mexicans have seen firsthand how Lujan Grisham’s ardent support for gun control hasn’t translated into a reduction in violent crime, and with polls showing a very close race it’s clear that many voters are ready for a real change.