Media Still Fawning Over Grisham's Gun Ban

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has already been chided by the federal courts over her unilaterally imposed ban on concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which has now been dramatically scaled back to prohibit lawfully carried firearms at parks and playgrounds in the city and county. Her fellow Democrats largely rejected her expansive gun control agenda in the state legislature, declining to adopt her semi-auto ban and prohibitions on gun sales to adults under 21 while watering down her proposed 14-business-day waiting period and carry ban at polling places; amending both bills to exempt concealed carry holders and cutting the waiting period down to 7 days. 


There's no evidence that police have actually cited or fined anyone for carrying a concealed firearm in any of Grisham's self-imposed "gun-free zones", and there are still plenty of troubling stories about teens not old enough to legally possess a gun getting caught with one, but the media is still fawning over Grisham's anti-gun efforts, with a new piece from Scripps News declaring that her "unconventional" approach may be paying off.

Despite ongoing legal challenges in federal court, Lujan Grisham recently extended the order another 30 days. Officials reported a 7% decline in gunshots detected since the health order went into effect. In that same period, there have been 2,490 arrests and 290 guns seized. Lujan Grisham's administration also said 87 juveniles have been detained in gun related crimes, 24 of whom would have been released before the public health order. 

... Lujan Grisham's efforts to rein in the carrying of weapons in public places are being closely watched not just in New Mexico, but by activists on both sides of the gun control issue. In addition to gun buybacks, the health order includes monthly inspections of firearms dealers statewide, and reports on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals. In a state with the third-highest gun deaths per capita in the country, Lujan Grisham is now pushing for more gun control bills in New Mexico's 2024 legislative session, including regulating assault-style weapons.


I had to check the date on this report since the 2024 session has already come to a close and Lujan Grisham's gun ban didn't make it to her desk. I'm not sure if the reporter was completely clueless about that, or just didn't care, but that seems like a fairly important fact to leave out of the story, even if the governor has hinted she might call lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session on gun control later this year. 

I'm more troubled, however, by the fact that the reporter parroted the governor's statistics on crime without bothering to delve into the details. Is the 7 percent decline in gunshots specifically for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, or is that figure statewide? How do the number of arrests since last September compare to the number of arrests from September 2022 to March 2023? How many shootings have taken place in the parks and playgrounds where Grisham banned lawful concealed carry, and how many of them were committed by lawful concealed carry licensees? The governor claims that almost 1/3rd of the juveniles arrested in gun-related crimes would have been released before the public health order, but neither she nor the Scripps news reporter explained what, exactly, is contained within the governor's public health order that resulted in those detentions. 

Most importantly, the report completely fails to mention that shootings and homicides are declining in most U.S. cities at the moment. Albuquerque isn't an outlier in that regard, and there's no reason to believe that the modest decline that the governor is touting has anything at all to do with her order, including her original and amended carry bans.   


As for the new waiting period and carry restrictions near polling places, those laws could soon face a court challenge, according to Republican Sen. David Gallegos, who says he and his colleagues are already scoping out their legal options. 

He said the GOP was working to bring a case either at the federal or state level against what he called the governor’s effort to “disarm everyone.” Gallegos said a federal case might get more momentum, worried Lujan Grisham and the Democrats that control New Mexico’s judiciary branch could prevent a lawsuit at that level. 

“They’re unconstitutional,” Gallegos said of the firearm bills. “I think New Mexico has got to turn the corner. If we don’t get the moderates to start voting with us, we’re going to keep taking people’s rights away.”

He said the seven-day waiting period, which was whittled down from 14 days during negotiations and ended up including exemptions, might be “just the beginning” of a broader effort by Democrats to do away with guns in New Mexico altogether.

“These little bites at the apple. They’ve had a hard time getting anti-gun bills through. This is opening the door,” Gallegos said. "This could open the floodgates.”

If Lujan Grisham gets her way, that's exactly what will happen. Her "unconventional" approach is better described as "unconstitutional", and she's made clear her contempt for the right to keep and bear arms... as well as the men and women who are lawfully carrying to protect themselves. 


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