New Mexico governor says she's banning concealed carry in state's biggest city

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is begging for a lawsuit and putting lives in danger with a new executive order issued on Friday afternoon that bans both open and concealed carry in Albuquerque for at least the next 30 days.

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Grisham was joined by the Albuquerque police chief and Bernanillo County Sheriff during her announcement, which came as part of a broader press conference on rising crime in the state’s biggest city, though the pair say neither of their departments is going to enforce the governor’s edict.

Lujan Grisham said state police would be responsible for enforcing what amount to civil violations. Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said he won’t enforce it, and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he’s uneasy about it because it raises too many questions about constitutional rights.

The firearms suspension, classified as an emergency public health order, applies to open and concealed carry in most public places, from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The restriction is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met by the metropolitan Albuquerque. Police and licensed security guards are exempt from the temporary ban.

Over the past five years Democrats in New Mexico have steadily restricted lawful gun owners, enshrining “universal” background checks, “red flag” laws, and several other anti-gun measures into law. Those laws haven’t led to lower crime rates in Albuquerque, so now Grisham is taking her biggest shot yet at gun owners and trying to criminalize their right to bear arms at a time when she admits the city’s streets are incredibly dangerous.

It’s not lawful gun owners or concealed carry holders who are the cause of this crime, but Grisham is still painting them as the problem, and violating their Second Amendment rights while scapegoating them for the failures of her own gun control agenda.

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Sitting alongside the Albuquerque Police Chief and Bernalillo County Sheriff. The governor says part of this new order is a 30-day suspension on open and concealed carry on public property for anyone other than law enforcement or licensed security. “I’ve warned everyone that we expect a direct challenge, probably as you’re writing this we’re getting a challenge, and that’s the way it should work. But I have to take a tough direct stand, or basically I’m just ignoring the fact that we lost an 11-year-old, another child,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.

Oh, she’s gonna get a legal challenge all right, and I suspect it won’t be long before the courts toss out this order, given its blatant disregard for the right to keep and bear arms.

Even as a political stunt this is idiotic, with Grisham admitting that the perpetrators of violence in the city aren’t going to abide by her order, which itself is largely toothless in terms of enforcement.

The governor says she doesn’t expect criminals to follow the order. But she hopes it is “a resounding message,” to everyone else in the community to report gun crime. “The point here is, is that, if everyone did it, and I wasn’t legally challenged, you would have fewer risks on the street, and I could safely say, to every New Mexican, particularly those folks living in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, I believe that you’re safer for the next 30 days, we have to wait and see,” said Lujan Grisham.

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Those are some big “ifs”, and not much of a point at all in practice. Grisham is now wasting taxpayer dollars and instructing the state police to violate the fundamental civil liberties of New Mexicans, all in the name of “gun safety”. I fully expect an injunction to be handed down next week halting any enforcement of her order, and I’m curious to see if even the state police will actually go along with enforcing her edict. Meanwhile, expect plenty of lawful gun owners (and virtually every armed criminal) to continue carrying on the streets of Albuquerque, even before her order is officially suspended by the courts. No matter what the governor says, the right to bear arms in self-defense cannot be negated by her proclamation, and the only thing that Grisham has really accomplished is demonstrating her contempt for the Constitution and our right to protect ourselves and our families from the violence that’s grown under her watch.

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