Is Grisham gunning for a special session?

While New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham hasn’t found much support for her unilateral order banning open and concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, her next step may very well involve bringing lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session on “gun violence”; an act that could lead to even more 2A infringements being foisted on the state’s lawful gun owners.


Grisham’s order is the subject of a Thursday afternoon hearing in federal court in Albuquerque, and there’s a distinct possibility that U.S. District Judge David Urias will grant a restraining order halting whatever enforcement, if any, of the governor’s edict has taken place; either from the bench this afternoon or later this week. But Grisham isn’t going away even if her emergency order suspending the right to carry is shot down by the courts, so what’s her next step going to be?

During the waning days of the 2023 legislative session, when it became clear that her fellow Democrats weren’t going to fall in line and adopt her anti-gun to-do list of banning so-called assault weapons, raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, and imposing a 14-day waiting period, Grisham brought up the idea of bringing lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session on gun control. When the legislature gaveled out in March without passing her “must haves”, however, Grisham appeared to back off that call, telling reporters that she tries “not to use special sessions as a tool to force issues that we don’t have good collaboration on.”

In other words, why call for a special session if the votes aren’t there to begin with? Of course, during that same conversation with reporters the governor also said she was “very motivated to find additional ways to make sure that we really do everything in our power that makes our communities and cities in our state safe”… and we know how that ended up; with the governor acting like a tinpot dictator and attempting to unilaterally suspend the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms in the state’s most population-rich county.


If/when Judge Urias puts a stop to the governor’s emergency order, she may have no real choice but to turn once more to the idea of a special session. In fact, that idea has already been suggested by the head of one of the state’s largest law enforcement groups.

The New Mexico Chiefs of Police Association said every law enforcement officer in the state shares Lujan Grisham’s concerns about gun violence, but the order was the wrong way to go. The association will join others in calling for a special legislative session to tackle gun violence, said the group’s head, Farmington Police Chief Steven Hebbe.

“The knee-jerk reaction to curtail the rights of every citizen rather than focusing on lawbreakers who plague our communities can’t be justified,” Hebbe said.

Note that Hebbe didn’t endorse any of Grisham’s policies, but if his group and others start demanding a special session on “gun violence” I’m guessing the governor will be happy to deliver, if only to once again put pressure on her fellow Democrats to agree to her previous demands.

It’s still very much an open question as to whether legislators will be any more open to the governor’s anti-gun agenda now than they were in the spring, especially with Grisham wasting so much political capital on her emergency order and criticizing at least a few of those Democrats who’ve opposed it, including Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen and Attorney General Raul Torrez. If anything, the Republican minority is probably in a stronger position to promote bills that target violent and repeat offenders during a session dedicated to preventing “gun violence”, but Grisham’s already shown herself to be a bully and I wouldn’t put it past her to twist arms, cajole, and threaten lawmakers in order to get her way.


I hope that gun owners will have cause to celebrate once Judge Urias issues his decision on the request for a restraining order, but regardless of the outcome of today’s hearing the governor isn’t going to simply give up on her quest to obliterate the right to keep and bear arms. Odds are she’ll be back at it in short order, and the next attempt will likely be aimed at every lawful gun owner in the state… not just those living or visiting Albuquerque or Bernalillo County.


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