Enforcement of Albuquerque carry ban might be an issue

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham thinks she can just declare the lawful carry of a firearm illegal after making up her own “public health emergency.”

It’s funny because the homicide rate in Albuquerque seems to actually be dropping, but now it’s an emergency.

Grisham’s unilateral action has sparked a lot of controversy as even some of her anti-gun allies are standing in opposition to her actions.

Yet that’s not Grisham’s biggest problem. That would be enforcement of her rule as at least one person responsible for doing just that is less than keen on the idea.

On Friday, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Sheriff John Allen announced that he has “reservations” regarding an order from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to suspend firearm laws for 30 days because it “challenges the foundation of our Constitution.

In a post on X, Allen acknowledged that “Every lost life is a tragedy, and the well-being of our community is of paramount concern to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.” He said, “However, as the elected Sheriff, I have reservations regarding this order.”

“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” He continued. “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”

“I was elected to represent and safeguard all constituents and to ensure the balance between our rights and public safety is maintained,” Allen said. “That means we must critically evaluate any proposed solution to the deeply rooted issue of gun violence, ensuring we both protect our community and uphold the values that define us as a nation.”

It sure looks like Allen isn’t interested in arresting people for carrying a firearm with a permit or otherwise in accordance with state law, rather than the governor’s dictatorial declaration.

As such, enforcement of the rule isn’t going to quite be what Grisham might like.

That’s probably good news for folks in Albuquerque. After all, the removal of all guns from law-abiding gun owners wouldn’t hurt criminals, a fact that Grisham acknowledged. It would just remove the threat to criminals, namely that anyone could be carrying a firearm.

If those bad guys know the sheriff isn’t going to be enforcing the law, they’ll need to rethink their plans over the next 30 days. It means they can’t just ignore the possibility of an armed citizen ready to meet their criminal force with force of their own.

So, life might not get as bad as it could in Albuquerque despite Grisham’s best efforts.

Unfortunately, Allen isn’t the sole voice for law enforcement there. Yet it seems that even local police aren’t interested in infringing on the Second Amendment.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Police Chief Harold Medina said city police won’t enforce the order, and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he was uneasy about how gun owners might respond.

“I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts,” Allen said, “as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”

Keller, a Democrat, said in a statement the city welcomes “meaningful solutions and additional resources to fight crime in Albuquerque,” but said city police were “not responsible for enforcing the governor’s ban.”

That means that there’s absolutely no chance of people being arrested for disobeying the ban. That’s good, but it’s also bad.

After all, every arrest would create standing to challenge the restriction. It’s not that the law can’t be challenged as is, but some judges may argue that someone needs to be actually arrested for there to be any standing. It’s all about the judge.

With that said, folks in New Mexico will have a choice. Do they want to continue down this path or do they want their rights respected?

We know where Grisham stands and we now know where Albuquerque law enforcement stands. One group respects the oath they swore and the one individual clearly doesn’t.