New Mexico governor fires back at sheriff

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

When I woke up on Friday, I never imagined we’d be talking so much about New Mexico. It’s just not the kind of place you expect to jump front and center in the Second Amendment discussion absent something happening.


Usually, that means something like a mass shooting. Yet Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham found a way to make her state a focal point by unilaterally declaring lawful carry illegal in Albuquerque.

However, as we noted, it seems that local police aren’t interested in enforcing her directive.

One of these is the sheriff of Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is the largest city. He has constitutional concerns, and for good reason.

However, it seems Grisham took issue with his comments and sent this to television station KOAT:

“I don’t need a lecture on constitutionality from Sheriff Allen: what I need is action. What we need is for leaders to stand up for the victims of violent crime. We need law enforcement, district attorneys, public officials, school leaders and state agencies to use every single tool at their disposal to stop this violence. Period.

This is an administration that has treated the gun violence epidemic as the crisis that it is. We’ve passed common-sense gun legislation, including red flag laws, domestic violence protections, a ban on straw purchases, and safe storage laws; dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to a fund specifically to help law enforcement hire and retain officers; increased penalties for violent offenders and provided massive support to intervention programs.

We’ve given you the tools, Sheriff Allen— now stop being squeamish about using them. I will not back down from doing what’s right and I will always put the safety of the people of New Mexico first.”


Now, this isn’t a debate about gun control. Allen hasn’t somehow declared the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county, so far as I’m aware. In fact, Bernalillo County is one of the few counties in the state that isn’t a Second Amendment sanctuary.

No, this is about the constitutionality of a governor just deciding to declare a public health emergency over an issue that seems to be less of a problem than it was last year, and then deciding to suspend innocent people’s right to bear arms.

She’s blaming law-abiding citizens for the criminal actions that have taken place in Albuquerque.

Grisham says she doesn’t need a lecture on constitutionality, but it’s clear by her actions she truly does. Her citation of gun control laws passed in New Mexico is irrelevant because this isn’t about any of those. Don’t get me wrong, I can have that debate easily enough, but this is about her decision to take on the tyrannical mantle of a dictator, at least in regard to the right to bear arms.

What’s more, she’s lost sight of what her job actually is. We know because she finished that statement up with this: “I will not back down from doing what’s right and I will always put the safety of the people of New Mexico first.”


According to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office:

The Constitution of the State of New Mexico Article XX Section 1.(Oath of Officer.), reads, “Every person elected or appointed to any office shall, before entering upon his duties take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation that he will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state, and that he will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of his office to the best of his ability.”

I see nowhere in there that the governor will put the idea of safety over and above the Constitution. That’s probably a good thing because the government cannot keep people safe. Not without adopting the kind of nightmare tyranny that should frighten everyone.

After all, if you’re free to move about your life, you’re exposing yourself to dangers. Can the government actually prevent car accidents? Sure, regulations can be argued to have minimized them, but they can’t stop them.

If one were to put safety above even the people’s basic, constitutionally protected rights as Grisham claims, it would require the government to step in and mandate who can go where and when. It would require an abolishing of all automotive traffic, or even stepping out of the shower without a government official present to make sure you don’t slip.


Safety is a goal, but it cannot be a destination that overshadows our rights.

Further, Grisham is ignoring how many people in Albuquerque are here today because they were carrying a firearm. Her order would make these people less safe than before.

At the end of the day, New Mexico deserves better. They deserve a governor who is interested in preserving the rights of the people over and above anything else.

You know, just to shake things up.

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